The Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban in one of the most highly anticipated decisions of this year, saying the ban is “squarely within” the president’s authority.
The Court’s 5-4 ruling that the third iteration of Trump’s controversial proposal, Travel Ban 3.0, is constitutional comes after two previous attempts by the administration to bar immigration to the United States from certain foreign countries.President Trump reacted quickly, tweeting “SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!”
That newest iteration of the travel ban is a presidential proclamation signed on Sept. 24, 2017, that indefinitely restricted most travel from the countries of Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen -linking the restrictions to those countries’ purported vetting deficiencies. In April, The U.S. lifted travel restrictions on Chad.
Some of those countries have a majority-Muslim population, leading to accusations that the administration was unfairly targeting Muslims. Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii issued injunctions shortly afterward that blocked the ban for the majority-Muslim countries but allowed restrictions from North Korea and Venezuela to go into effect.
Trump said in a statement the ruling is a “tremendous victory” for the American people.
“In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country. This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country,” he said in the statement.
“As long as I am President, I will defend the sovereignty, safety, and security of the American People, and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and its citizens. Our country will always be safe, secure, and protected on my watch.”
In the case, Trump v. Hawaii, the state of Hawaii argues that the ban hurts its university system by banning potential students and scholars from entering the country. Individual plaintiffs who joined the case with Hawaii also say it separates them from family members who applied for visas to enter the country.
The administration argued that Travel Ban 3.0 was vetted by multiple agencies and was based on a review of foreign policy, not religion. Hawaii and the other plaintiffs challenged the proclamation, asking the court to rule on whether it was a lawful use of the president’s authority, was too broad, or improperly targeted countries with a large Muslim population.
The court ruled in favor of the administration, Chief Justice John Roberts writing “..the Government has set forth a sufficient national security justification to survive rational basis review. We express no view on the soundness of the policy. We simply hold today that plaintiffs have not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their constitutional claim.”