Listen as lawyers argue travel ban case

Supreme Court justices ask questions on the legality of the Trump administration's travel ban.

Posted: Jun 27, 2018 4:52 AM
Updated: Jun 27, 2018 5:07 AM

President Donald Trump relished a victory at the Supreme Court on Tuesday with uncharacteristic brevity.

"Wow!" was his initial exclamation on Twitter after the court upheld his travel ban.

If the one-word response was joyful, it also reflected a nuanced reality. The court did offer Trump an unequivocal win, determining he was within his authority to protect the country's national security by limiting who comes into the country, just as the immigration debate reaches a boiling point. The 5-4 ruling essentially gave him a green light to express himself however he wishes -- even if that language veers into bigoted or racist speech -- without fear of legal repercussion.

But it did not uphold Trump's original suggestion, made as a candidate in 2015, to enact a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Nor did it uphold the original iteration of the ban, which was rushed out in the first weeks of the administration to widespread confusion and chaos.

Instead, the court upheld what Trump once dismissed as a "watered down, politically correct version," which came after two previous attempts were at least partially struck down.

It was, in part, a victory for a coherent, established agency process overseen by Trump's most hated Cabinet official, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. A year-and-a-half after the first attempt, there is little to indicate Trump is following those practices now.

'Vindicated'

Trump felt "vindicated" by the decision, his aides said in the immediate aftermath of the ruling, which came as the administration wages another chaotic battle on immigration, this time involving minors separated from their parents on the southern border. Inside the White House, Trump tweeted his "Wow!" response from his third-floor residence, where he was viewing coverage of the decision on television. Staffers from the White House counsel's office briefed him on the ruling.

In a statement and remarks after the ruling, Trump was triumphant.

"A tremendous success, a tremendous victory for the American people, and for our Constitution," is how he described the ruling in remarks from the Cabinet Room. "We have to be tough and we have to be safe and we have to be secure. At a minimum, we have to make sure that we vet people coming into the country."

"The ruling shows that all of the attacks from the media and the Democrat politicians are wrong, and they've turned out to be very wrong," he said.

The victorious moment came a year-and-a-half after the messy days of the original ban, which was drafted in haste by staffers without the usual input from the Justice Department. Instead, hardline aides Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon helped devise details of the order, including whether green card holders from the seven affected nations -- all Muslim majority -- would be permitted to enter the US. Chaos ensued at American airports, where border agents received little direction and were largely left to interpret the order themselves.

That original ban was swiftly blocked by courts.

A second version was also mired in legal trouble.

The third version, which was upheld on Tuesday, came after months of legal vetting by Justice Department lawyers. It includes two non-Muslim countries, North Korea and Venezuela, and was carefully written on strict national security grounds, which the majority of justices deemed did not exceed Trump's presidential authority.

It provided the highest-profile ruling yet for a court that now includes one of Trump's own selections, Justice Neil Gorsuch, whose place on the bench was a direct result of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision to refuse a vote on Merrick Garland, the nominee President Barack Obama put forward in the last year of his tenure. In a victory lap of sorts, McConnell's office posted a photo on Tuesday morning of the Republican senator shaking Gorsuch's hand.

A telling moment

If the ruling was a lesson in the value of adopting an orderly policy process, it came at a telling moment. Trump's most recent executive order, meant to end the practice of separating migrant families at the border, has sown similar chaos among people trying to enter the US. It, too, was drafted hastily at Trump's demand. Miller, a young and outspoken policy adviser, has continued to play a central role.

Just as he publicly wavered over signing a revised travel ban, Trump has questioned in private the wisdom of his family separation order, which has yet to lead to mass reunions of minors and their parents. He has bemoaned the appearance of weakness in backing down from the harsh practice that led to outcry, even from his political allies.

At a rally in South Carolina on Monday, Trump suggested his initial political instinct was to allow the practice to continue.

"I had my own feeling when I heard them talking about the children," he said, continuing later: "I liked it. I said, 'Hey, this is fine for us.' "

Both issues cut to the heart of Trump's appeal as an immigration hardliner and his desire to quickly make good on his campaign promises. But they've also revealed the pitfalls of Trump's gut-driven approach to governing, one that relies on aides with scant federal experience to execute.

If the court victory on Tuesday was a "vindication" in Trump's mind, it was also vindication for Sessions, whose mere presence in rooms and on television has led to periodic fits of anger from Trump. The President has never forgiven his attorney general for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, but it was his agency's revisions and legal wrangling that have allowed the measure to persist.

On Tuesday, Sessions was in Los Angeles. When he learned of the decision from a senior staff member, he had a big smile on his face.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 557665

Reported Deaths: 7104
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1161051683
Ramsey48076856
Dakota42704422
Anoka38757416
Washington25072274
Stearns21100219
St. Louis16883298
Scott16071117
Wright14862127
Olmsted1278097
Sherburne1068280
Carver986845
Clay784790
Rice7657102
Blue Earth699540
Kandiyohi629581
Crow Wing619886
Chisago551650
Otter Tail545273
Benton533897
Mower451332
Goodhue445572
Douglas444071
Winona439149
Nobles400848
Morrison396359
McLeod396055
Isanti380159
Itasca375553
Beltrami373557
Polk366567
Steele364114
Becker356548
Lyon349048
Carlton330752
Freeborn328529
Pine312721
Nicollet308342
Brown294839
Mille Lacs283850
Le Sueur271322
Todd269230
Cass250826
Meeker238137
Waseca231421
Martin213529
Wabasha19983
Roseau198019
Hubbard172541
Renville172543
Dodge17203
Redwood166535
Houston162514
Cottonwood157521
Fillmore15179
Pennington151219
Chippewa146737
Wadena145021
Faribault144219
Sibley136710
Kanabec132022
Aitkin128936
Watonwan12579
Rock123119
Jackson117610
Yellow Medicine110919
Pipestone110026
Pope10316
Murray10299
Swift100118
Marshall85617
Stevens82310
Lake78419
Clearwater77914
Koochiching77513
Wilkin77112
Lac qui Parle73622
Big Stone5654
Lincoln5602
Grant5518
Norman5229
Mahnomen5088
Unassigned48578
Kittson46822
Red Lake3877
Traverse3605
Lake of the Woods3073
Cook1460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 358375

Reported Deaths: 5826
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56091605
Linn20328330
Scott19153235
Black Hawk15566306
Woodbury14917221
Johnson1408481
Dubuque13169203
Dallas1090996
Pottawattamie10769162
Story1032447
Warren556986
Clinton538390
Cerro Gordo523486
Webster508391
Sioux506973
Marshall477274
Muscatine461596
Des Moines441965
Wapello4254120
Buena Vista421940
Jasper407870
Plymouth398179
Lee368555
Marion354875
Jones293355
Henry286437
Bremer279460
Carroll279352
Crawford262440
Boone258933
Benton250355
Washington249250
Dickinson242543
Mahaska225250
Jackson218242
Kossuth213163
Clay211325
Tama206771
Delaware203339
Winneshiek194733
Page190421
Buchanan188931
Cedar184623
Fayette183041
Wright180535
Hardin180142
Hamilton178249
Harrison176673
Clayton167155
Butler162534
Mills158820
Cherokee157138
Floyd155442
Lyon154941
Madison154319
Poweshiek152833
Allamakee149151
Iowa145724
Hancock143734
Winnebago136231
Grundy135432
Cass134854
Calhoun133211
Jefferson130935
Emmet128840
Shelby128637
Sac127319
Louisa127249
Appanoose126647
Mitchell125241
Union123232
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie118029
Franklin112921
Palo Alto111022
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10020
Clarke98324
Keokuk94830
Monroe94128
Ida89633
Adair84532
Pocahontas83721
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75716
Lucas74923
Worth7118
Taylor65412
Fremont6149
Decatur5909
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4939
Adams3314
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Mostly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 27°
Mason City
Mostly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 18°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 23°
Austin
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 23°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 22°
Cooler for the next couple of days
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Bulls defeat Grizzlies in Fraser Cup Final

Image

Bruins continue fight for playoff bid

Image

Aaron's Evening Forecast (4/19/21)

Image

Sean's Weather 4/19

Image

Mayo Clinic Doctor creates art for patients

Image

Electric car show

Image

Walk a Block

Image

Cleaning up Chester Woods

Image

Little Thistle collecting donations

Image

Rochester United PKG

Community Events