On Tuesday June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court gave President Trump a major victory when it upheld the Presidents travel ban preventing nationals from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
In a 5-4 ruling, the court’s conservative wing mentioned that President Trump has broad discretion under immigration law to suspend the entry of people into the United States who can be harmful to the national interest and security.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion; “The president lawfully exercised that discretion based on his findings — following a worldwide, multi-agency review — that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest”
The state of Hawaii and others challenging the ban argued that anti-Muslim comments Trump made on the campaign trail and in office showed that the now-indefinite policy was rooted in an animus toward Muslim people and unconstitutionally is favored a specific religion.
Justice Roberts and the majority disagreed and stated that the government’s objective for the ban was to protect the country and improve vetting processes and was certainly reasonable.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a scathing dissent, which was joined by fellow liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
She said a reasonable observer would conclude, based on the evidence, that the proclamation was motivated by prejudice toward Muslims.
Justice Sotomayor also stated that “Ultimately, what began as a policy explicitly ‘calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ has since morphed into a ‘Proclamation’ putatively based on national-security concerns”.
This is the third version of the travel ban. It was issued in September 2017 after previous bans had ricocheted through the courts -- and restricts entry from seven countries to varying degrees: Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela. Chad was originally on the list, but it was recently removed after having met baseline security requirements.
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