In what is shaping up to be a major win for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in favor of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
The case, Trump v. Hawaii, stems from Trump’s polarizing September order to block citizens of several countries from traveling to the United States in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks.
Trump’s order was challenged in court as discriminatory against Muslims — most of the countries affected have majority Muslim populations — but the Supreme Court disagreed.
Chief Justice John Roberts penned the 5-4 opinion in which the court found that Trump’s order was well within his authority as president.
The decision also denied that religious hostility had anything to do with the order.
“The [order] is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices,” Roberts wrote.
Roberts was also very blunt about the accusations of religious discrimination.
“The text says nothing about religion,” he wrote.
“Plaintiffs argue that this President’s words strike at fundamental standards of respect and tolerance, in violation of our constitutional tradition,” Roberts continued. “But the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements. It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility. In doing so, we must consider not only the statements of a particular President, but also the authority of the Presidency itself.”
The decision allows the Trump administration’s policy to proceed unfettered. Several revisions had to be made to the travel ban policy after it was challenged in court; this latest version of the travel ban was its third iteration.
The decision is also a major step forward for the Trump administration’s promise to secure America’s borders and implement a stronger vetting process for immigration.
The countries impacted by the immigration restriction are Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. Since the most recent revision in April, the country of Chad was dropped.
Hawaii’s case against Trump claimed that the travel ban was wholly inspired by religious discrimination. The attorney for the challengers in this case, Neil Katyal, argued that the restrictions were essentially a “Muslim ban.”
Katyal used several of Trump’s tweets to argue his case.
The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
Trump has long argued that the travel ban was not a “Muslim ban,” but an issue of American security.
“This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” the president said in January.
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