Court upholds Trump travel ban, rejects discrimination claim

2018-06-26 17:26

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld US President Donald Trump's ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.

The 5-4 decision on Tuesday is the court's first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.

Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. He also rejected the challengers' claim of anti-Muslim bias.

But he was careful not to endorse either Trump's provocative statements about immigration in general and Muslims in particular.

"We express no view on the soundness of the policy," Roberts wrote.

The travel ban has been fully in place since the court declined to block it in December. The justices allowed the policy to take full effect even as the court fight continued and lower courts had ruled it out of bounds.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissent that based on the evidence in the case "a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus". She said her colleagues arrived at the opposite result by "ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens".

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan also dissented.

The policy applies to travellers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries: Blocking travellers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving "its identity-management and information sharing practices", Trump said in a proclamation.

The administration had pointed to the Chad decision to show that the restrictions are premised only on national security concerns.

The challengers, though, argued that the court could just ignore all that has happened, beginning with Trump's campaign tweets to prevent the entry of Muslims into the United States. Just a week after he took office in January 2017, Trump announced his first travel ban aimed at seven countries.

That triggered chaos and protests across the US as travellers were stopped from boarding international flights and detained at airports for hours. Trump tweaked the order after the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to reinstate the ban.

The next version, unveiled in March 2017, dropped Iraq from the list of covered countries and made it clear the 90-day ban covering Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen didn't apply to those travellers who already had visas. It also eliminated language that would give priority to religious minorities. Critics said the changes didn't erase the ban's legal problems.

The current version dates from September and it followed what the administration has called a thorough review by several federal agencies, although it has not shared the review with courts or the public.

Federal trial judges in Hawaii and Maryland had blocked the travel ban from taking effect, finding that the new version looked too much like its predecessors. Those rulings that were largely upheld by federal appeals courts in Richmond, Virginia, and San Francisco.

Roberts wrote that presidents have frequently used their power to talk to the nation "to espouse the principles of religious freedom and tolerance on which this Nation was founded".

But he added that presidents and the country have not always lived up "to those inspiring words".

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  immigration
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.