The Supreme Court will allow a version of President Trump’s travel ban to go into effect while it waits to hear a legal challenge this fall.
The nation’s high court announced today that it will hear a case involving the ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries in October. In the meantime, it lifted injunctions on the ban, halting only attempts to bar travelers with a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” That would include cases where a parent is coming to live with a child, a student has been accepted into an American university or a worker has been hired by an American company, among other situations.
The opinion noted that the President’s powers on immigration are at their highest when dealing with cases where there is “no tie between the foreign national and the United States” and that the executive branch is charged with protecting national security.
Trump cheered the news, saying in a statement that it marks “a clear victory for our national security.”
“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,” Trump said.
Trump also said he was “particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.” The Court’s definitive ruling on this issue will come after it hears oral arguments next term. Monday’s announcement concerned temporary stays of injunction in the meantime and was per curiam, meaning it was written on behalf of the Court as a whole and unsigned.
Trump’s travel ban, which seeks to temporarily cut off visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, has been winding its way through the courts since it was unveiled in January and immediately put under a nationwide temporary restraining order by a Federal District Court.
The first version of the executive order was altered after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused to reinstate the ban, scrapping language about giving preference to religious minorities and removing Iraq from the list of affected countries.
But two federal appeals courts have blocked key components of the revised order. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit recently ruled that it is “rooted in religious animus.”
The Supreme Court will become the final authority on the legality of the ban when it hears oral arguments in the fall. But for now, Trump can go ahead and enforce parts of the policy, which have been blocked almost since the day it was announced.
In a memorandum issued last week, Trump said the ban would go in effect 72 hours after the injunctions against it were lifted. In a statement Monday, the Department of Homeland Security said it would consult with the Justice and State Departments on enforcing the order, and that “the implementation of the Executive Order will be done professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers.”