The Supreme Court on Monday granted President Donald Trump’s request to fully enforce his revised order banning travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries while legal challenges to it proceed in lower courts.
It was a victory for the White House, which has seen the courts trim back various iterations of the travel ban, and it bodes well for the administration if the Supreme Court is called upon to finally decide the merits of the president’s actions.
Two lower courts had imposed restrictions on Trump’s new order, exempting travelers from the six countries who had “bona fide” connections with relatives – such as grandparents, aunts or uncles – or institutions in the United States. Those exemptions to the president’s order, issued in the fall, were along the lines of those imposed by the Supreme Court last summer on a previous version of the travel ban.
But in an unsigned opinion Monday that did not disclose the court’s reasoning, the justices lifted the injunctions, which had been issued by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor noted that they would not have lifted the restrictions. The new ban also bars travelers from North Korea and Venezuela, but they were not affected by the injunctions.
The justices said they expected the federal judges reviewing challenges to the order – based on what challengers say are Trump’s animus toward Muslims and lack of authority under immigration laws – to handle the cases with “appropriate dispatch.”
The court’s move is “a substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a written statement. “We are pleased to have defended this order and heartened that a clear majority Supreme Court has allowed the President’s lawful proclamation protecting our country’s national security to go into full effect. The Constitution gives the President the responsibility and power to protect this country from all threats foreign and domestic, and this order remains vital to accomplishing those goals.”
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Robert Barnes