SUPREMES DEAL VICTORY FOR TRUMP, UPHOLD TRAVEL BAN
|| Daily Caller
“A five-justice majority of the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in full the latest iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel sanctions Tuesday.
The ruling was an unqualified victory for the Trump administration, after earlier variants of the entry ban were greeted with raucous airport protests and break-neck litigation that left the White House reeling.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the Court’s opinion, joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch.
“The president has lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under [federal law],” Roberts wrote.
Speaking moments after the Court issued its decision, Trump said the ruling vindicates his immigration and national security priorities.
“The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the president to defend the national security of the United States,” he said. “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.”
“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,” he added.
The ban in its currents form was issued in September 2017. The administration assessed travel penalties against eight countries, who failed to satisfy basic vetting and information-sharing expectations.
A coalition of Democratic states and civil rights groups challenged the proclamation, making two basic arguments. They first alleged the sanctions exceeded Trump’s authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA, the plaintiffs said, only allows the president to ban the entry of a specific class of dangerous aliens for a limited time. It also provides that the president may not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or nationality when issuing visas.
Second, the challengers claimed that the order was issued to disparage Muslims, in violation of the First Amendment’s ban on religious favoritism in government policy.
The high court rejected both these positions. Roberts explained that the INA “exudes deference to the president in every clause,” meaning that courts should not second-guess Trump’s national security findings.
The law sets just one requirement for the president: he must formally determine that the entry of a certain class of aliens is detrimental to U.S. interests. The majority found the administration easily satisfied this demand, as Trump’s order is the most comprehensive proclamation ever issued under the INA.
“The 12-page proclamation — which thoroughly describes the process, agency evaluations, and recommendations underlying the president’s chosen restrictions — is more detailed than any prior order a president has issued under [the INA],” the chief wrote.
With respect to the constitutional argument, the Court similarly concluded that its review should be limited given the national security sensitivities the case involves.
The ruling also identifies what it sees as significant shortcomings of the plaintiffs’ First Amendment argument. Just eight percent of the world’s Muslim population is encompassed by Trump’s sanctions, Roberts noted, and the proclamation itself creates a waiver program open to all affected aliens. Moreover, certain nationals — like exchange students — from sanctioned countries are specifically exempted from the entry ban.
All told, the majority saw these features as incompatible with a supposed Muslim ban.”
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