The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 5–4 decision, holding that Trump exercised his broad statutory authority to “suspend entry of aliens into the United States.”
The court, in addition to holding that he had authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to issue the September 2017 proclamation, held that challengers to the ban were unlikely to succeed in their claim that the proclamation violates the Establishment Clause.
Both Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor read from the bench from piece of their dissents. Breyer was joined by Justice Elena Kagan in his dissent, and Sotomayor was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The history of the travel ban began in December 2015, when Trump, as a candidate, called for “a total and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” At points throughout the campaign, he changed his language — but he continued to press for some version of his promise.
At the quit of his first week in office, Trump signed the travel ban executive order — barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and halting the entire refugee program for a period of time. The executive order — implemented immediately and without notice — led to chaos and protests at airports across the country and court orders halting enforcement of parts and eventually most of the ban.
In March 2017, Trump issued a moment order — which he later referred to as a “watered down, politically right version” of his initial ban. It, too, faced opposition from the courts, although the Supreme Court allowed it to disappear into effect in piece.
Finally, in September, Trump issued a third, narrower ban — one based, the administration argues, on a full review by federal agencies. After challenges, the Supreme Court allowed this version to disappear into effect while appeals were heard.
At arguments in April, the court appeared to be of two minds on the debate, with the justices’ questions showing clear concerns approximately weighing into presidential decisions related to national security, but also a willingness to probe at when the opportunity of a discriminatory motive for presidential actions would justify barring those decisions from taking effect.
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