SCOTUS Reinstates Parts of Travel Ban 06/26 13:39
The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go forward with a
limited version of its ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries, a
victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to
go forward with a limited version of its ban on travel from six mostly Muslim
countries, a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal
controversy of his young presidency.
The justices will hear full arguments in October in the case that has
stirred heated emotions across the nation. In the meantime, the court said
Monday that Trump's ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and
Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide
relationship with a person or entity in the United States."
Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after being
cleared by courts.
The administration has said the 90-day ban was needed on national security
grounds to allow an internal review of screening procedures for visa applicants
from the six countries. Opponents say the ban is unlawful, based on visitors'
Muslim religion. The administration review should be complete before Oct. 2,
the first day the justices could hear arguments in their new term.
A 120-day ban on refugees also is being allowed to take effect on a limited
Three of the court's conservative justices said they would have let the
complete bans take effect.
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the
government has shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of the case, and
that it will suffer irreparable harm with any interference. Thomas said the
government's interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to
people denied entry into the country.
Some immigration lawyers said the limited nature of the ban and the silence
of the court's liberals on the issue Monday suggested that the court had not
handed Trump much of a victory. They said relatively few people would fall
under the ban because people coming to study, work or visit family members in
the United States already have sufficient relationships with others already is
in the country.
Trump, though, hailed the high court's order as a "clear victory for our
national security." He said in a statement that his "number one responsibility"
is to keep the American people safe.
The court's opinion explained the kinds of relationships people from the six
countries must demonstrate to obtain a U.S. visa.
"For individuals, a close familial relationship is required," the court
said. For people who want to come to the United States to work or study, "the
relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, not
for the purpose of evading" the travel ban.
The opinion faulted the two federal appeals courts that had blocked the
travel policy for going too far to limit Trump's authority over immigration.
The president announced the travel ban a week after he took office in January
and revised it in March after setbacks in court.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban
was "rooted in religious animus" toward Muslims and pointed to Trump's campaign
promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and
remarks he has made since becoming president.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel
policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on
nationality-based discrimination. That court also put a hold on separate
aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the United States for
120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees
in the current government spending year that ends September 30.
Trump's first executive order on travel applied to travelers from Iraq and
well as the six countries, and took effect immediately, causing chaos and panic
at airports over the last weekend in January as the Homeland Security
Department scrambled to figure out whom the order covered and how it was to be
A federal judge blocked it eight days later, an order that was upheld by a
9th circuit panel. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it
would revise the policy.
In March, Trump issued the narrower order.