Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban

By Reuters
June 26, 2018Politicsshare
Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban
A police officer stands guard on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on June 15, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed Donald Trump one of the biggest victories of his presidency, upholding his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries and rejecting the argument that it represented unconstitutional religious discrimination.

The 5-4 ruling, with the conservative justices in the majority and the liberal justices dissenting, ended a legal challenge over whether the policy amounted to an unlawful Muslim ban, while also confirming broad presidential powers over immigration and national security policy.

Trump quickly celebrated the victory. 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. Trump has called the measure necessary to protect the United States against attacks by Islamic terrorists.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for the American People and the Constitution,” Trump said in a statement. “The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the President to defend the national security of the United States.”

“In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country,” he added.

The court held that the challengers had failed to show that the travel ban violated either U.S. immigration law or the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment prohibition on the government favoring one religion over another.

In remarks at the White House, Trump hailed “a tremendous victory for the American people and for our Constitution.”

“We have to be tough, and we have to be safe, and we have to be secure. At a minimum, we have to make sure that we vet people coming into the country,” the  president said, referring in a statement to “this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians.”

The ban 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.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts said that Trump’s administration “has set forth a sufficient national security justification” to prevail.

The ruling affirmed broad presidential discretion over who is allowed to enter the United States. Trump could potentially add more countries to the ban.

Roberts said Trump’s actions suspending entry of certain classes of people were “well within executive authority and could have been taken by any other president – the only question is evaluating the actions of this particular president in promulgating an otherwise valid proclamation.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions lauded the decision.

“Today is a great victory for the safety and security of all Americans. The Constitution and Acts of Congress confer on the President broad discretion to protect the interests of the United States,” Sessions said in a statement.

“Today’s decision is critical to ensuring the continued authority of President Trump–and all future presidents–to protect the American people,” he added.

Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

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