U.S. Supreme Court rules for Trump travel ban

U.S. Supreme Court rules for Trump over travel ban

Source: Yahoo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.

The 5-4 decision Tuesday is the court’s first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.

Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. He also rejected the challengers’ claim of anti-Muslim bias.

But he was careful not to endorse either Trump’s provocative statements about immigration in general and Muslims in particular.

“We express no view on the soundness of the policy,” Roberts wrote.

The travel ban has been fully in place since the court declined to block it in December. The justices allowed the policy to take full effect even as the court fight continued and lower courts had ruled it out of bounds.

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.” She said her colleagues arrived at the opposite result by “ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.”

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan also dissented.

The policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries: blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving “its identity-management and information sharing practices,” Trump said in a proclamation.

The administration had pointed to the Chad decision to show that the restrictions are premised only on national security concerns.

The challengers, though, argued that the court could just ignore all that has happened, beginning with Trump’s campaign tweets to prevent the entry of Muslims into the United States. Just a week after he took office in January 2017, Trump announced his first travel ban aimed at seven countries.

That triggered chaos and protests across the U.S. as travelers were stopped from boarding international flights and detained at airports for hours. Trump tweaked the order after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to reinstate the ban.

The next version, unveiled in March 2017, dropped Iraq from the list of covered countries and made it clear the 90-day ban covering Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen didn’t apply to those travelers who already had visas. It also eliminated language that would give priority to religious minorities. Critics said the changes didn’t erase the ban’s legal problems.

The current version dates from September and it followed what the administration has called a thorough review by several federal agencies, although it has not shared the review with courts or the public.

Federal trial judges in Hawaii and Maryland had blocked the travel ban from taking effect, finding that the new version looked too much like its predecessors. Those rulings that were largely upheld by federal appeals courts in Richmond, Virginia, and San Francisco.

Roberts wrote that presidents have frequently used their power to talk to the nation “to espouse the principles of religious freedom and tolerance on which this Nation was founded.”

But he added that presidents and the country have not always lived up “to those inspiring words.”

Reference

 

Amnesty International: Travel ban “has no place in a country that claims to value human rights”

Source: CNN

Human rights organization Amnesty International just sent us its reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Trump’s travel ban.

Ryan Mace, Grassroots Advocacy & Refugee Specialist at Amnesty International USA, called it a “hateful policy” that “has no place in a country that claims to value human rights.”

Here’s the full statement:

“This hateful policy is a catastrophe all around – not only for those who simply want to travel, work, or study here in the States, but for those seeking safety from violence as well. While this decision doesn’t address the separate and equally harmful ban on refugees, it cruelly traps people in conflict-afflicted countries and prevents them from seeking safety in the U.S. or being reunited with family. Some of the people banned from this policy are fleeing conflicts that the United States has had a direct hand in creating or perpetuating, as is the case in Yemen and Syria. In those cases especially we are essentially lighting a house on fire and locking the escape door shut. This ban, and the anti-Muslim sentiment in which it originated, has no place in a country that claims to value human rights.”

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