Supreme Court Travel Ban Decision: Who Now Can, Can't Enter the U.S.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that it will take up the case of President Donald Trump's travel ban executive order in its next session in October, and it immediately lifted the current injunctions against the order but excepted those with "bona fide" connections to the United States.

Related: Did Trump’s new travel ban order change anything? 

The order, which had been halted by lower courts, banned for 90 days entry into the U.S. by nationals from six Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also placed a temporary suspension on the U.S. refugee resettlement program, for 120 days, and limited the number of refugees who can be admitted each year to 50,000, down from 110,000 under President Barack Obama.

The court's nine justices granted "the government's applications to stay the injunctions…with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." It also allowed the suspension of all refugee arrivals for 120 days to go ahead on the same basis.

The court ruled that the decision of lower courts was too broad in including those with no connection to people already in the U.S.

"Denying entry to such a foreign national does not burden any American party by reason of that party's relationship with the foreign national," the ruling said.

The decision is the first victory for Trump's order after suffering a series of major blows.

The White House appealed to the Supreme Court to take up the case on June 1, after a ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide ban on the executive order going into effect. In March, two federal judges ruled against the executive order on the grounds that its purpose was to "disfavor a particular religion." Comments from Trump, notably his call on the campaign trail to put a temporary halt on all Muslims entering the United States, played a part in the ruling.

Supreme Court The Supreme Court has lifted much of the stay, enforced by lower courts, that halted Donald Trump's travel ban, and will take up the case in October. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

That was just the latest blow to Trump's efforts. Earlier, he had been forced to revise his original order, which also covered Iraq and green card and visa holders, and offered preferential treatment for Christians. Signed just a week after he came into office, the order sparked a series of protests and mass confusion at airports across the country. The order was almost immediately halted by the courts, and Trump in March issued a revised order that he described as "a watered-down version of the first one."

Trump's tweets on the subject have repeatedly been cited by judges when ruling against the ban.

Trump has repeatedly slammed the judges who halted his travel ban, accusing them of overreach and of putting the security of Americans at risk. 

 


 

The executive order, titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States," argued that the temporary suspensions on arrivals from the six countries and the ceiling on the number of refugees were needed to review existing practices for screening and vetting foreign nationals. However, it is now five months since the 90-day and 120-day review periods were requested, and it is unclear whether they will still apply.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday immediately issued a tweet saying it would see Trump in court and reaffirming its stance that the order constituted a "Muslim ban." Amnesty International, meanwhile, called on Congress to take action to halt the order's implementation.

"This bigoted ban cannot be allowed to take effect again, and Congress needs to step in immediately to nullify it once and for all," Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA executive director, said in a statement. "It's always been crystal clear that this policy was based on discrimination. Reinstating any part of this ban could create chaos in the nation's airports and tear families apart. 

"Rather than keeping anyone safe, this ban demonizes millions of innocent people and creates anxiety and instability for people who want to visit a relative, work, study, return to the country they call home, or just travel without fear," Huang said.

This story was updated to include further details about the ruling.