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The US Supreme Court decided Tuesday to uphold President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.
The Court’s ruled with a 5-4 vote on the third version of the ban, which was rolled out in its entirety in the fall of 2017 and prohibits entry into the US by most travelers from a total of eight countries, six of which are majority Muslim.
The Trump administration had argued to the Court’s justices that the travel ban was not a so-called Muslim ban, and that it is within the rights of the president to set travel restrictions for the nation.
Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the Court’s four other conservative justices, wrote the majority opinion, which rejected the idea that the ban was targeting Muslim travelers and noted that the president has significant power to regulate immigration. Roberts was sure to note the majority justices “express no view on the soundness of the policy.”
Writing for the dissent was Justice Sonya Sotomayor, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.
“A reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus,” Sotomayor wrote, adding that her conservative counterparts arrived at their ruling by “ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.”
The first version of the travel ban was implemented as an executive order by President Trump in January 2017. After being blocked in February 2017 by a federal judge in Seattle, the ban was revised several times. The version of the travel ban that was ruled upon by the Court on Tuesday was released in June 2017 and bars citizens of six Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan) from entering the US unless they had a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity in America. In September 2017, the administration also added new travel restrictions to Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen that were slowly phased in until December 2017.
Earlier this spring, Trump removed one country from the travel ban list — the African nation of Chad. Trump signed a proclamation saying that Chad had “improved its identity-management and information sharing practices,” and would be removed from the travel ban.
Supreme Court watchers noted in April that the justices seemed to favor upholding the ban after hearing arguments for the first time, with the Court’s conservative justices, who outnumber their liberal colleagues, alluding to the fact that they were against repealing the ban.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
H/T: Associated Press
*This post has been updated with details from both the Court’s majority and dissenting opinions.
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