DemDaily: SCOTUS Tempers Travel Ban

June 26, 2017


The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) today lifted, in part, the previously rulings of two federal courts that halted enforcement of the Trump Administration's controversial travel ban.

Protesters at JFK Airport in January

Trump's original immigration policy executive order, titled "Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States," banned travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The order, which was issued just one week after Trump's inauguration, and without coordination or warning to any of the enforcing government agencies, caused unprecedented chaos and protests in airports and cities nationwide.

An onslaught of legal suits ensued and, on February 9th, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled the ban was unconstitutional and issued a nationwide injunction freezing it's implementation.

Trump's March 6th revised order, an attempt to placate legal and political opposition, reduced the immigration ban to 6 countries (taking Iraq off the list), exempted green-card holders, valid visa holders and refugees with previously approved travel.

But the nuanced directive, which would still have banned travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days, and all refugees for 120 days, was rejected by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on May 25th.

"An Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious introlerance, animus and discrimination." - Fourth Circuit Court

The Trump Administration appealed to the US Supreme Court and today, June 26th, the high court agreed to stay, or lift, part of the lower court's injunctions, allowing a ban on "foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

The justices, however, instructed 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."

SCOTUS: Ginsberg, Kagan, Kennedy, Alito, Roberts, Sotamayor, Thomas, Gorsuch and Breyer (Pic: NYT)

The decision by the justices is a temporary ruling, however, in response to the Administration's request to stay the lower court's ruling while the case moves forward.

The High Court will hear the full case in October of 2017, when they reconvene for their next session.

in the interim, the decision on who has a "bona fide" claim to travel to, or stay in, the United States will be left to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) - leaving thousands still in limbo as to their long-term future.

As always, DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: New York Times, Washington Post

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