USA. In a victory for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court on Monday lifted key components of an injunction against the White House’s proposed ban on travel from six majority-Muslim nations, reinstating much of the policy and promising to hear full arguments in October.
The court’s decision means the justices will now wade into the biggest legal controversy of the Trump administration — Trump’s order temporarily restricting travel, which even Trump has termed a “travel ban.”
“An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded,” the Court wrote. “As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.”
The justices decided to review the broader constitutional issues over executive authority on immigration with oral arguments to be held in the Fall.
Trump has been incensed since his original executive order, signed on Jan. 27, was partially blocked by a federal court.
“What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions can come into U.S.?” Trump tweeted on Feb. 4.
America’s highest court also granted an emergency request from the White House allowing part of the refugee ban to go into effect.
The justices said they would consider in October whether Mr Trump’s policy should be upheld or struck down.
The Supreme Court said in Monday’s ruling: “In practical terms, this means that [the executive order] may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.
“All other foreign nationals are subject to the provisions of [the executive order].”
A Trump win – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington
Mark this down as a win for Donald Trump. The path to entry into the US for immigrants and refugees from the affected nations, if they don’t have existing ties to the US – either through family, schools or employment – just became considerably harder.
The decision marks a reaffirmation of the sweeping powers the president has traditionally been granted by the courts in areas of national security. There was fear in some quarters that the administration’s ham-fisted implementation of its immigration policy could do lasting damage to the president’s prerogatives. That appears not to be the case.
The government, the justices write, has a “compelling need to provide for the nation’s security”. That includes being able to close the borders based on an evaluation of the potential of foreign threats – at least for now.
The Supreme Court justices will fully consider the arguments on both sides next autumn. Of course, by that time it may not matter. The administration has three months to conduct its “executive review” of immigration policy and devise new guidelines.
In the meantime, the gates to America just got a bit smaller.
The court said it could not uphold lower court injunctions barring enforcement of the ban against foreigners who have no connection to the United States at all.
“Denying entry to such a foreign national does not burden any American party by reason of that party’s relationship with the foreign national,” the court said.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch wrote in the ruling that they would have allowed the travel ban to go into full effect, pending a review.
The policy had been left in limbo since it was struck down by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland, who found it to be discriminatory.
Those lower courts ruled against the executive order days after the president issued a revised version with a narrower scope on 6 March.
The original ban, released on 27 January, provoked mass protests at American airports.
SOURCE: Editorial Board
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