Following months of resistance from far-left appellate courts, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously to uphold parts of President Trump’s controversial travel ban.
Monday’s ruling effectively allows part of Trump’s executive order to go into effect, including a 90-day ban on people entering the United States from six mostly-Muslim countries who “lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” such as a spouse, close relative, employer or enrollment in an American university.
In addition, the ruling also allows a 120-day pause on the United States’ refugee program.
“I fear that the Court’s remedy will prove unworkable,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote. “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 §2(c)’ of Executive Order No. 13780.”
Reaz Jafri, head of the global immigration practice at Withers Bergman law firm, said he expects a significant uptick in cases and protests. Jafri’s job includes advising clients on how to work around the U.S.’s changes in immigration policies.
“It is still unclear if a national from one of the banned countries will get a visa to visit a family member, participate in a conference, visit schools or come for a job interview,” Jafri said. “Will these be considered bona fide reasons to visit the U.S.? My sense is ‘no’ and the implication is that U.S. businesses, universities and families will be negatively impacted.”
All nine justices agreed in the 13-page decision to take up the case in the fall, setting up a showdown over the legality of the order.
Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito Jr. and Thomas wrote a three-page opinion saying they would have allowed Trump’s travel ban to take effect fully, without regard to a foreign national’s connection to the United States.
The justices agreed to hear oral arguments on the legality of the executive order during the Court’s next term, which begins in October.
Though Monday’s decision wasn’t the final word on the travel ban, Trump celebrated it as “a clear victory for our national security.”
“As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm,” he said in a written statement. “I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.”
Trump has been fighting for this travel ban since his original executive order, signed on Jan. 27, was partially blocked by a federal court.
“What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions can come into U.S.?” Trump tweeted on Feb. 4.
He added on Feb. 11: “Our legal system is broken!”
In early March, Trump issued a revised executive order, which was also blocked by federal courts.
The President has been waiting for his case to reach the Supreme Court and get out of the hands of liberal judges.
Four days after signing the original ban, Trump nominated Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated when Antonin Scalia died.
Gorsuch is largely seen as a conservative justice in the Scalia mold and could help Trump claim an even more definitive victory after arguments.