Travel ban ruling 'a great victory' for the Constitution
29 June, 2018, 18:33 | Author: Carlos George
"By blindly accepting the Government's misguided invitation to sanction a discriminatory policy motivated by animosity toward a disfavored group, all in the name of a superficial claim of national security", she writes, "the Court redeploys the same risky logic underlying Korematsu and merely replaces one "gravely wrong" decision with another".
But the Supreme Court ended its term past year by issuing a middle-ground ruling that allowed the travel ban to take effect, except for foreign visitors who have a close family tie or business affiliation in the United States.
In a majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court ruled 5-4 that the most recent version of the ban, which the administration claims is justified by national security concerns, was valid.
"We express no view on the soundness of the policy", Chief Justice Roberts wrote.
Holding: The President has lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under 8 U. Trump could potentially add more countries to the ban.
The current version of the ban includes limits on travel into the U.S.by citizens of two non-Muslim countries, North Korea and Venezuela, as well as Muslim-majority Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. But the high court on December 4 allowed it to go fully into effect while the legal challenge continued.
"As long as I am President, I will defend the sovereignty, safety, and security of the American People, and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and its citizens".
The challengers, though, argued that the court could not just ignore all that had happened, beginning with Trump's campaign tweets to prevent the entry of Muslims into the United States.
He repeatedly questioned the loyalty of Muslim immigrants and after a 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino, California, used his campaign to propose a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".
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Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissent that based on the evidence in the case "a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus". He dismissed the many anti-Muslim statements Trump has made as "extrinsic statements".
Justice Breyer, joined by Justice Kagan, suggested a functional test to determine if the ban truly rests on security needs or excludes Muslims due to their religion: whether it has allowed for exemptions and waivers as with past travel restriction orders.
Look, I get why the travel ban-revised after the original one was blocked by the courts-is so controversial, given that it's aimed at majority Muslim countries. Trump had also imposed a temporary ban on refugees along with earlier versions of the travel ban, but he did not reimpose a refugee ban when the last one expired in the fall.
But the restrictions on North Korea and Venezuela were not part of the legal challenge. And those are being challenged in the lower courts.
"As here, the exclusion order was rooted in risky stereotypes about a particular group's supposed inability to assimilate and desire to harm the United States", Sotomayor wrote.
But some civil liberties groups and immigration advocates likened it to a 1944 Supreme Court decision that upheld an executive order requiring Americans of Japanese ancestry to be sent to detention camps.
On Tuesday, the ban was allowed to stand by the Supreme Court, which rejected arguments that it represented unconstitutional religious discrimination. During the April 25 arguments before the justices, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said it was "crystal clear" that the travel restrictions were not a manifestation of Trump's call for a Muslim ban.
"Today, the Court takes the important step of finally overruling Korematsu", Sotomayor added.
Trump's travel ban was widely condemned by tech companies previous year, a number of whom later signed on to a legal filing in support of a lawsuit to put a halt to the controversial executive order.
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