The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Donald Trump by allowing his temporary ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees to go into effect for people with no strong ties to the United States while agreeing to decide this fall the legality of the order.
The case represents a major test of presidential powers. The justices, in their unsigned decision, granted parts of the Trump administration’s emergency request to put the order into effect immediately while the legal battle continues.
The court, which narrowed the scope of lower court rulings that had completely blocked his March 6 executive order, said it would hear arguments in October on the lawfulness of one of Trump’s signature policies in his first months as president
The March 6 order called for a 90-day ban on travelers from terror hot-spots Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees to enable the government to implement stronger vetting procedures. It was blocked by federal judges before going into effect on March 16 as planned.
Both bans are now due to partly go into effect in 72 hours, based on a memorandum issued by the Trump administration on June 14.
That means the president can begin denying visas to visitors from six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — who don’t already have family in the U.S., or some other prior connection such as participation in an education program. Mr. Trump is also free to halt refugee admissions worldwide, with the same exception for people who already have a connection to the U.S.
The justices said Mr. Trump is at the peak of his powers when acting on national security concerns in immigration matters when dealing with people who don’t already have a tie to the U.S.
The court’s ruling was issued in an unsigned unanimous opinion
Most mainstream news outlets are focusing on the fact that the entire law will face a test when the court hears the case later this year, but they ignore a couple of important facts:
A: As stated, most of the law will now go into effect
B: As The Hill reports at least three of the justices would have let the entire thing to go into effect immediately.
“Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, along with the newest Justice, Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee to the court earlier this year, wanted to lift the entire ban, according to the order.”
C: The order issued today suggests that the Trump administration’s review of immigration practices may have concluded by the time the court hears the case, making the entire issue moot. Yes, that’s a not-so-subtle way of telling the admin to ‘get the lead out.’
It’s unlikely that those three justices will change their minds between now and the fall, so it would seem opponents face an uphill battle. Still, it’s the SCOTUS, so you never know. For now, this is a big win for President Trump, and yet another big loss for Democrats who continually try to pretend the Constitution doesn’t say what it clearly says.