The US Supreme Court today partially reinstated President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries, before examining the case in full this autumn. The travel ban – which was put on hold by lower court rulings – will apply to those “who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” until the court hears the case in October, the justices ruled. The decision is a win for the Republican leader, who has insisted the ban is necessary for national security, despite criticism that it singles out Muslims in violation of the US constitution. Trump had suffered a series of stinging judicial setbacks over the measure, with two federal appeals courts maintaining injunctions on the ban.
Those courts had argued the president had overstepped his authority, and that his executive order discriminated against travelers based on their nationality. “Immigration, even for the president, is not a one-person show,” the three justices of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling earlier this month. “National security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power,” they added. The Supreme Court narrowed the scope of those injunctions, saying the government could enforce its measure against “foreign nationals unconnected to the United States” without causing injury to the parties who filed suit. Conversely, those with a “close familial relationship” in the US are not affected.
The revised measure, announced in March, seeks to bar from US entry travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, as well as suspend the entry of refugees for 120 days. The original measure, issued by executive order in January, also included Iraq on the list of targeted countries and had imposed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.