Supreme Court to decide legality of Trump travel ban
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday set up a major showdown over presidential powers, agreeing to decide the legality of President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The conservative-majority court is due to hear arguments in April and issue a ruling by the end of June on whether the ban violates federal immigration law or the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on religious discrimination. Trump’s policy, announced in September, blocks entry into the United States of most people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
The legal fight involves the third version of a contentious policy Trump first sought to implement a week after taking office in January 2017.
The Supreme Court, which is tackling a series of consequential cases during its current term, signaled on Dec. 4 it was likely to uphold the policy. After lower courts had partially blocked it, the Supreme Court on a 7-2 vote let the ban go into full effect while legal challenges by the state of Hawaii and others continued.
The Republican president has said the policy is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Islamic militants.
“We are confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold the president’s lawful and necessary action to keep the American people safe and enforce these important security standards for entry into the United States,” said Raj Shah, a White House spokesman.
Those challenging the policy have argued it was motivated by Trump’s enmity toward Muslims, pressing that point in court with some success by citing statements he made as a candidate and as president.
As a candidate, Trump promised “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” As president, he has rescinded protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, sought to ramp up deportations and pursued new measures restricting legal immigration.
In November, he shared on Twitter anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right British political figure.
“We have always known this case would ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court. This will be an important day for justice and the rule of law,” said Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, a Democrat.
The American Civil Liberties Union pursued a separate legal challenge in Maryland that is now before the Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
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