Supreme Court al­lows full en­force­ment of Trump travel ban

El Dorado News-Times - - Front Page -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Mon­day al­lowed the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to fully en­force a ban on travel to the United States by res­i­dents of six mostly Mus­lim coun­tries.

This is not a fi­nal rul­ing on the travel ban: Chal­lenges to the pol­icy are wind­ing through the fed­eral courts, and the jus­tices them­selves ul­ti­mately are ex­pected to rule on its le­gal­ity.

But the ac­tion in­di­cates that the high court might even­tu­ally ap­prove the lat­est ver­sion of the ban, an­nounced by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in Septem­ber. Lower courts have con­tin­ued to find prob­lems with the pol­icy.

White House spokesman Ho­gan Gi­d­ley said the White House is "not sur­prised by to­day's Supreme Court de­ci­sion per­mit­ting im­me­di­ate en­force­ment of the Pres­i­dent's procla­ma­tion lim­it­ing travel from coun­tries pre­sent­ing height­ened risks of ter­ror­ism."

Op­po­nents of this and pre­vi­ous ver­sions of the ban say they show a bias against Mus­lims. They say that was re­in­forced most re­cently by Trump's retweets of anti-Mus­lim videos.

"Pres­i­dent Trump's anti-Mus­lim prej­u­dice is no se­cret. He has re­peat­edly con­firmed it, in­clud­ing just last week on Twit­ter. It's un­for­tu­nate that the full ban can move for­ward for now, but this or­der does not ad­dress the mer­its of our claims," said Omar Jad­wat, direc­tor of the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union's Im­mi­grants' Rights Project. The ACLU is rep­re­sent­ing some op­po­nents of the ban.

Just two jus­tices, Ruth Bader Gins­burg and So­nia So­tomayor, noted their dis­agree­ment with court or­ders al­low­ing the lat­est pol­icy to take full ef­fect.

The new pol­icy is not ex­pected to cause the chaos that en­sued at air­ports when Trump rolled out his first ban with­out warn­ing in Jan­uary.

The ban ap­plies to trav­el­ers from Chad, Iran, Libya, So­ma­lia, Syria and Ye­men. Lower courts had said peo­ple from those na­tions with a claim of a "bona fide" re­la­tion­ship with some­one in the United States could not be kept out of the coun­try. Grand­par­ents, cousins and other rel­a­tives were among those courts said could not be ex­cluded.

The courts were bor­row­ing lan­guage the Supreme Court it­self came up with last sum­mer to al­low par­tial en­force­ment of an ear­lier ver­sion of the ban.

Now, those re­la­tion­ships will no longer pro­vide a blan­ket ex­emp­tion from the ban, al­though visa of­fi­cials can make ex­cep­tions on a case-by-case ba­sis.

The jus­tices of­fered no ex­pla­na­tion for their or­der, but the ad­min­is­tra­tion had said that block­ing the full ban was caus­ing "ir­repara­ble harm" be­cause the pol­icy is based on le­git­i­mate na­tional se­cu­rity and for­eign pol­icy con­cerns.

In law­suits filed in Hawaii and Mary­land, fed­eral courts said the

up­dated travel ban vi­o­lated fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion law. The travel pol­icy also ap­plies to trav­el­ers from North Korea and to some Venezue­lan govern­ment of­fi­cials and their fam­i­lies, but the law­suits did not chal­lenge those re­stric­tions. Also un­af­fected are refugees. A tem­po­rary ban on refugees ex­pired in Oc­to­ber.

All the rul­ings so far have been on a pre­lim­i­nary ba­sis. The San Fran­cisco-based 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of

Ap­peals and the 4th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, will be hold­ing ar­gu­ments on the le­gal­ity of the ban this week.

David Levine, a Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Hast­ings law school pro­fes­sor, said that by al­low­ing the ban to take ef­fect just days be­fore the ap­peals court ar­gu­ments, the jus­tices were sig­nal­ing their view.

"I think it's tip­ping the hand of the Supreme Court," Levine said. "It sug­gests that from their

un­der­stand­ing, the govern­ment is more likely to pre­vail on the mer­its than we might have thought."

Both ap­peals courts are deal­ing with the is­sue on an ac­cel­er­ated ba­sis, and the Supreme Court noted it ex­pects those courts to reach de­ci­sions "with ap­pro­pri­ate dis­patch."

Quick res­o­lu­tion by ap­pel­late courts would al­low the Supreme Court to hear and de­cide the is­sue this term, by the end of June.

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