Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US Supreme Court gives its nod to Trump travel ban for now

US Supreme Court gives its nod to Trump travel ban for now

The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries. "The proclamation is the third order the president has signed this year banning more than 100 million individuals from Muslim-majority nations from coming to the United States", they wrote. The decision was a victory for the administration after its mixed success before the court over the summer, when justices considered and eventually dismissed disputes over the second version.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor said they would have denied the government's request.

The decision vindicates a rather bold procedural move by the Justice Department and Trump's solicitor general, Noel Francisco.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the order "a substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people".

The challengers convinced the lower courts to put implementation on hold while they and government lawyers fight out the legality of the policy.

Having already gone through two previous versions, the latest document prevents the entry of citizens of Iran, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Chad into the Land of the Free.

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The ban also covers people from North Korea and a selection of senior officials from Venezuela, but its main focus is travelers from the six mainly Muslim countries. Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii had partially blocked the restrictions, allowing people from these countries who can establish a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S.to travel.

"We are not surprised by today's Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the President's proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said after the order. They said USA officials had ample authority to deny entry to foreigners who posed a security risk.

Following the Supreme Court's order, the travel restrictions imposed by the September 24 proclamation went into effect immediately. This is the third version of the Trump travel ban. But the Trump administration, which says the ban is crucial to protect U.S. national security and deter terror attacks, secured strong support from the Supreme Court in a 7-2 vote to let the government move ahead while the appeals continue. Judge Watson did not impose such a limitation, but an appeals court modified his injunction, also quoting the Supreme Court's language. They filed an emergency appeal November 20 contending that allowing the ban to go into only partial effect "will cause ongoing irreparable harm to the government and the public".

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the state of Hawaii filed lengthy responses urging the court to maintain the status quo while the legal claims are heard and decided.

Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said that it was unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now.

Oral arguments are scheduled for soon in both federal appeals court cases on whether the ban exceeds the president's broad powers on immigration.

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