The justices said the distinction should be easy to administer. “In practical terms, this means that” the executive order “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch, dissented from part of the court’s opinion. They said they would have revived the travel ban in its entirety while the court considered the case.
“I fear that the court’s remedy will prove unworkable,” Justice Thomas wrote. “Today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.”
“The compromise also will invite a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits, as parties and courts struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a ‘bona fide relationship,’ who precisely has a ‘credible claim’ to that relationship, and whether the claimed relationship was formed ‘simply to avoid’ ” the executive order, Justice Thomas wrote, quoting from the majority opinion.
In an official White House statement, Mr. Trump hailed the court’s action as “a clear victory for our national security.”
“As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm,” Mr. Trump said. “I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.”
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., ruled last month that the limits on travel from the six countries violated the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion. Relying on Mr. Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign, where he called for a…