Supreme Court decides on Donald Trump's travel ban

Donald Trump displays a large grin while speaking on stage.

The United States Supreme Court has handed a victory to President Donald Trump by reviving parts of his travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees while agreeing to decide its legality later this year in a major test of presidential powers.

The justices narrowed the scope of lower court rulings that had completely blocked his March 6 executive order that Mr Trump had said was needed to prevent terrorism in the United States, allowing his temporary ban to go into effect for people with no strong ties such as family or business to the US.

In a statement, Mr Trump called the high court's action "a clear victory for our national security," saying the justices allowed the travel suspension to become largely effective. 
"As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm," Mr Trump said. "I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive."

The lower courts that had blocked the order said it violated federal immigration law and was discriminatory against Muslims in violation of the American Constitution — critics meanwhile called it a "Muslim ban".

There were no noted dissents among the nine Supreme Court justices in the unsigned decision, although three of the conservative justices said they would have gone a step further by granting Mr Trump's request to implement the bans fully while the legal battle continues.

But the court did not give Mr Trump everything he wanted.

His March 6 order called for a blanket 90-day ban on people from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees to enable the government to implement stronger vetting procedures. It was blocked by federal judges before going into effect on March 16 as planned.

Both bans are now due to partly go into effect in 72 hours, based on a memorandum issued by the Trump administration on June 14. 
"The implementation of the executive order will be done professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travellers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry," the Department of Homeland security said in a statement.

The justices said that the travel ban will go into effect "with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States". 
That means people from the six countries and refugees with no such ties would be barred from entry. The court said it would hear arguments in October on the lawfulness of one of Mr Trump's signature policies in his first months as president
'Watered down, politically correct': Trump

The decision endorsed the Trump administration's contention that the president deserves greater deference from the courts on national security matters. 
Mr Trump signed the order as a replacement for a January 27 one issued a week after he became president that also was blocked by federal courts, but not before it caused chaos at airports and provoked numerous protests.

The US President issued the orders amid rising international concern about attacks carried out by Islamist militants like those in Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin and other cities. But critics have called the order a mean-spirited, intolerant and un-American "Muslim ban".

The March 6 revised order was intended to overcome the legal issues posed by the original ban, which also included Iraq among the nations targeted, and a full ban on refugees from Syria. 
The new order also jettisoned language that gave preferential status to persecuted religious minorities, which critics said could be taken as favouring Christians and other religious groups over Muslims.

Mr Trump has called the March order a "watered down, politically correct" version of the January one. 
But the order still embodied his "America First" nationalist message and reflected his views of the dangers posed to the United States by certain immigrants and visitors. The administration has said the travel ban is needed to allow time to implement stronger vetting measures, although it has already rolled out some new requirements not blocked by courts, including additional questions for visa applicants.

There is likely to be further litigation over who is covered by the ban based on the Supreme Court action.

Opponents of the executive order maintain that the court decision kept significant restrictions on the breadth of the travel ban because the vast majority of individuals seeking to come into the United States would have some sort of link to the country.

Reuters


Supreme Court decides on Donald Trump's travel ban Supreme Court decides on Donald Trump's travel ban Reviewed by Nene Sochi-Okereke on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 Rating: 5

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