The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Trump administration’s travel ban from select countries can be fully enforced while it undergoes legal challenges.
The court issued two stays toward two lower court injunctions in Hawaii and Maryland that hamstrung the administration’s efforts to restrict travel from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen into the United States. The Hawaii judge, Derrick Watson, ruled in October that the travel ban was a discriminatory Muslim ban and that the administration was unable to provide compelling evidence that justified the ban. The Maryland judge, Theodure Chuang, ruled that those from traveling from the listed countries could enter the United States if they had “a bona fide relationship with person or entity in the United States.”
The administration argued that they needed the ban to go into full effect in order to prevent “irreparable harm to the government and the public,” and by a margin of 7-2 the Supreme Court agreed. The dissenting justices were Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.
The court’s ruling comes as legal arguments regarding the ban will be held in the coming week in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Rulings from these appeals courts are expected to come relatively quickly so the Supreme Court will be able to resolve the issue in June.
This is the third iteration of the travel ban, which initially extended to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen. After various protests and court rulings against the ban, the administration revised the ban to Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It remains to be seen if this version of the ban will survive the legal proceedings, but Monday’s ruling from the Supreme Court would seem to bode well for the ban.
Critics of the ban argue that because the ban focuses on Muslim majority countries, it’s rooted in religious intolerance toward Muslims and is therefore antithetical to the Constitution. Others argue that the ban doesn’t affect most Muslims worldwide and that it’s a necessary national security move.