U.S. Supreme Court upholds President's travel ban

Donald Trump's Twitter reaction: "Wow!"

Posted: Jun 26, 2018 12:10 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2018 1:41 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump's ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority. A dissenting justice said the outcome was a historic mistake.

The 5-4 decision Tuesday is a big victory for Trump on an issue that is central to his presidency, and the court's first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy. The president quickly tweeted his reaction: "Wow!"

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion for the five conservative justices, including Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. He also rejected the challengers' claim of anti-Muslim bias.

But he was careful not to endorse either Trump's provocative statements about immigration in general or Muslims in particular, including Trump's campaign pledge to keep Muslims from entering the country.

"We express no view on the soundness of the policy," Roberts wrote.

DFL candidate for governor of Minnesota Erin Murphy issued the following statement on the Court's ruling:

“This Supreme Court ruling to uphold President Trump’s divisive, hateful agenda is discrimination against our Muslim neighbors, plain and simple. It’s wrong and we must fight back, as Americans and as Minnesotans, standing together.

We must never retreat from our values of care and compassion for our fellow neighbors. We must lead with the belief that our differences are a source of strength, not something that should be feared.

As governor, I will stand up to this administration, using all the legal options available to the state, to challenge this flagrant violation of our laws and values. I ask Minnesotans to join me in this fight because we are strongest when we stand united to uphold our values.”

The travel ban has been fully in place since December, when the justices put the brakes on lower court rulings that had ruled the policy out of bounds and blocked part of it from being enforced.

In a dissent she summarized in court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, "History will not look kindly on the court's misguided decision today, nor should it." Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan also dissented.

Sotomayor wrote that based on the evidence in the case "a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus." She said her colleagues in the majority arrived at the opposite result 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."

She likened the case to the discredited Korematsu V. U.S. decision that upheld the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Roberts responded in his opinion that "Korematsu has nothing to do with this case" and "was gravely wrong the day it was decided."

Minnesota U.S. Senator Tina Smith (DFL) issued this statement about the ruling:

“Next week, our nation will celebrate the anniversary of our independence—a time when we reflect on the laws, history, and diverse groups of people who make up America. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court goes against the founding principles of our nation and defies our core beliefs,” said Sen. Smith. “This is not who we have been, and it’s not who we should be. We must keep working to help all people demand respect, freedom and dignity in the same spirit on which our country was founded.”

The travel ban was among the court's biggest cases this term and the latest in a string of 5-4 decisions in which the conservative side of the court, bolstered by the addition of Gorsuch last year, prevailed. Gorsuch was nominated by Trump after Republicans in the Senate refused to grant a hearing to federal appeals Judge Merrick Garland, who was appointed by Barack Obama with more than 10 months remaining in Obama's term.

The Trump policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries, blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving "its identity-management and information sharing practices," Trump said in a proclamation.

The administration had pointed to the Chad decision to show that the restrictions are premised only on national security concerns.

The challengers, though, argued that the court could not just ignore all that has happened, beginning with Trump's campaign tweets to prevent the entry of Muslims into the United States.

The travel ban has long been central to Trump's presidency.

He proposed a broad, all-encompassing Muslim ban during the presidential campaign in 2015, drawing swift rebukes from Republicans as well as Democrats. And within a week of taking office, the first travel ban was announced with little notice, sparking chaos at airports and protests across the nation.

While the ban has changed shape since then, it has remained a key part of Trump's "America First" vision, with the president believing that the restriction, taken in tandem with his promised wall at the southern border, would make the Unites States safer from potentially hostile foreigners.

In a statement he released Tuesday morning, Trump hailed the decision as "a moment of profound vindication" following "months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country."

Strongly disagreeing, Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota said, "This decision will someday serve as a marker of shame." Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who was born in Japan, both compared the ban and the ruling to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Critics of Trump's ban had urged the justices to affirm the decisions in lower courts that generally concluded that the changes made to the travel policy did not erase the ban's legal problems.

The current version dates from last September and it followed what the administration has called a thorough review by several federal agencies, although no such review has been shared with courts or the public.

Federal trial judges in Hawaii and Maryland had blocked the travel ban from taking effect, finding that the new version looked too much like its predecessors. Those rulings that were largely upheld by federal appeals courts in Richmond, Virginia, and San Francisco.

But the Supreme Court came to a different conclusion Tuesday. The policy has "a legitimate grounding in national security concerns," and it has several moderating features, including a waiver program that would allow some people from the affected countries to enter the U.S., Roberts said. The administration has said that 809 people have received waivers since the ban took full effect in December.

Roberts wrote that presidents have frequently used their power to talk to the nation "to espouse the principles of religious freedom and tolerance on which this Nation was founded." But he added that presidents and the country have not always lived up "to those inspiring words."

The challengers to the ban asserted that Trump's statements crossed a constitutional line, Roberts said.

"But the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements. It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility," he said

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 542053

Reported Deaths: 7035
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1129221671
Ramsey46808847
Dakota41281414
Anoka37372413
Washington24322273
Stearns20596216
St. Louis16440296
Scott15511116
Wright14374124
Olmsted1258796
Sherburne1026779
Carver950443
Clay765889
Rice7432101
Blue Earth679340
Kandiyohi620379
Crow Wing594086
Chisago537648
Otter Tail533173
Benton520296
Mower446532
Winona435349
Douglas433270
Goodhue431271
Nobles396648
Morrison384559
McLeod382354
Beltrami366257
Isanti362259
Polk359166
Itasca358251
Steele348914
Becker345848
Lyon342648
Carlton323352
Freeborn320129
Pine306021
Nicollet299842
Brown290639
Mille Lacs271248
Le Sueur265422
Todd265430
Cass242426
Meeker228037
Waseca226820
Martin209629
Wabasha19793
Roseau194118
Dodge16824
Renville168043
Hubbard167841
Redwood163735
Houston161814
Cottonwood151820
Fillmore15069
Pennington148519
Chippewa143736
Faribault141719
Wadena140021
Sibley132710
Aitkin127036
Kanabec125821
Watonwan12429
Rock121018
Jackson114110
Yellow Medicine108419
Pipestone107425
Murray10149
Pope9926
Swift97518
Marshall84017
Stevens79610
Lake77819
Wilkin75612
Clearwater75514
Koochiching74912
Lac qui Parle73122
Big Stone5544
Lincoln5532
Grant5388
Norman5129
Mahnomen4898
Unassigned48178
Kittson44822
Red Lake3817
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods2932
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 355069

Reported Deaths: 5797
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55519598
Linn20164329
Scott18724234
Black Hawk15464306
Woodbury14787219
Johnson1386780
Dubuque13033202
Dallas1082296
Pottawattamie10621160
Story1024747
Warren548486
Clinton531189
Cerro Gordo519386
Webster505991
Sioux502973
Marshall476274
Muscatine454996
Des Moines439465
Wapello4246120
Buena Vista421140
Jasper406370
Plymouth393979
Lee366755
Marion353975
Jones292055
Henry285337
Bremer278260
Carroll277850
Crawford261139
Boone256431
Benton248955
Washington247849
Dickinson238743
Mahaska223349
Jackson217142
Kossuth211461
Clay208325
Tama206371
Delaware201039
Winneshiek192633
Page189020
Buchanan187331
Cedar182623
Fayette182641
Wright178735
Hardin178642
Hamilton177049
Harrison174673
Clayton165455
Butler161834
Mills157320
Cherokee156438
Floyd154542
Lyon153541
Poweshiek152133
Madison152019
Allamakee149051
Iowa144624
Hancock142734
Winnebago135331
Grundy134732
Cass133954
Calhoun133011
Jefferson130535
Emmet127140
Shelby126637
Louisa126149
Appanoose125847
Sac125719
Mitchell125241
Union123732
Chickasaw122015
Humboldt117926
Guthrie116728
Franklin112421
Palo Alto109622
Howard102622
Unassigned10030
Montgomery99737
Clarke98023
Keokuk94430
Monroe93228
Ida88533
Adair84032
Pocahontas83021
Monona80530
Davis79824
Greene76310
Lucas74822
Osceola73816
Worth7008
Taylor65012
Fremont60410
Decatur5889
Van Buren55318
Ringgold53322
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