The Supreme Court on Monday gave approval to 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 U.S. President Donald Trump in September. Lower courts have continued to find problems with the policy.
White House spokesperson 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 of nine justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, noted their disagreement with court orders allowing the latest policy to take full effect.
This is the third version of the travel ban that Trump first sought to implement after taking office in January.
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 travellers 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…