The Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which restricts entry from seven countries to varying degrees: Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela. The US Supreme Court on Tuesday handed Donald Trump one of the biggest victories of his presidency, upholding his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries.
It was 5-4 along partisan lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the conservative majority. “The Proclamation is squarely within the scope of Presidential authority,” Roberts wrote. The court’s five conservatives in the majority, end, for now, a fierce fight in the courts over whether the policy represented an unlawful Muslim ban. Trump can now claim vindication after lower courts had blocked his travel ban announced in September, as well as two prior versions, in legal challenges brought by the state of Hawaii and others. The blockbuster decision – Trump’s first Supreme Court victory as president – reverses a series of lower-court orders that rejected the ban as a thinly-veiled, unconstitutional ban on migrants and refugees who practice Islam. The court’s liberals denounced the decision. In a passionate and searing dissent from the bench, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the decision was no better than Korematsu v. The United States, the 1944 decision that endorsed the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The current ban, announced in September, prohibits entry into the United States of most people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The Supreme Court allowed it to go largely into effect in December while the legal challenge continued. Trump’s travel ban covered Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, all Muslim-majority countries. Chad was subsequently removed from the list. In addition, the ban also covered North Korea and Venezuela
The travel ban was one of Trump’s signature hardline immigration policies that have been a central part of his presidency and “America First” approach. Trump issued his first version just a week after taking office, though it was quickly halted by the courts.