UPDATED, 9:28 AM: He didn’t take to social media as many expected, but President Donald Trump didn’t wait long to hail a “clear victory” in this morning’s Supreme Court decision to hear arguments on his contentious multi-nation travel ban and lift parts of an injunction against it. Still, the President seems to be spinning what was a 6-3 split decision on implementation of the so-called Muslim Ban as being a full win in his favor because all justices agreed to hear the case when they return for a new term in October.
“Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security,” said the President in a statement released by the White House. “It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective. As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.”
“My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe,” Trump adds. “Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation’s homeland. I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.”
While the full High Court said it would hear the case in the fall, six of the justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, kept part of the injunction from lower courts in place while allowing part of the 90-day halt on new visas from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen to go into effect. Revised in March after several court losses for the administration, Travel Ban 2.0 also suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.
PREVIOUS, 8:03 AM: On the closing day of its current term, the Supreme Court today handed Donald Trump a bit of good news as the justices said they will hear on the legality of the President’s travel ban next fall. With some of the stay against what has been called Travel Ban 2.0 lifted, arguments will be held right at the beginning of SCOTUS’ next term in October.
Challenged and halted in various lower jurisdictions before finding its way to the Supreme Court, Trump’s controversial revised executive order limited travel from six predominantly Muslim countries to the U.S.
Likely to be hailed as a victory by the former Celebrity Apprentice host in the inevitable tweet, SCOTUS’ order is actually a mixed result for the Administration and for those opposing the travel ban. Upholding the current injunction against the so-called Muslim ban in part and lifting it in other regards, the Supreme Court’s 16-page order says that the stay from the Appeals Courts is now lifted for foreign nationals who have a “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States” (read it here). While that implies that visitors from Iran, Libya,Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen with immediate family Stateside, employment offers or educational opportunities will be allowed into the county, definitions of the terminology that SCOTUS used could see new legal battles over the summer.
The ACLU has already made it clear that it will fight the travel ban, as has been the case since the first version was signed by Trump mere days after he took office:
— ACLU National (@ACLU) June 26, 2017
Of course, this could all be moot as the 90-day travel ban could actually have expired by the time the High Court hears the case. All of which could see the June 1 filed petition by the government booted in the fall. The decision was a 6-3 breakdown in the SCOTUS, with Justice Clarence Thomas penning the dissent that saw the compromise as too confusing and the full ban should have gone into effect. Justice Thomas was joined by Justice Samuel Alito and Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch in the dissent.
The order was first signed on January 27 in the early days of the Trump administration, immediately leading to chaos and protests at airports and elsewhere all over the United States and legal challenges. With Hollywood outrage and a series of court losses as various state attorney generals took on the ban, a second order was signed by the President on March 6. Called a “travel ban” by the President himself even when his own lawyers were saying it wasn’t, the order seeks to halt new visas from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days, and suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days. It also includes increased vetting procedures for travelers into America.
Since March, Trump has said online the revised travel ban was too “watered down” and he wished that the initial version had gone forward. In fact as recently as early this month, Trump took to social media to express his POV:
That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
With today’s Supreme Court’ action anticipated in some form or another, a pre-emptive June 14 memorandum inked by President Trump authorizes implementing part of the ban within the next three days, in part. If past protests are any indication, expect the airports to be even more packed than usual over this upcoming almost Independence Day weekend.