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Monday, June 26, 2017

Trump triumphs as travel ban is mostly reinstated

In a yoooge victory for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court lifted key components of an injunction against President Trump's proposed ban on travel from six nations that tend to be importers of terrorism. Not so coincidentally, these nations are Muslim-majority. 

The Supreme Court will revisit the ban in October when they go back in session.

This decision will have the justices delve into the biggest legal quagmire since Trump took office. His order temporarily restricts travel and the court made it clear that a limited version of the policy can immediately be enforced.

Much of the policy has been reinstated, but travelers who have family in the U.S. will be excluded from the ban.

"An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded," the court wrote. "As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connections to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government's compelling need to provide for the Nation's security."

Trump has been openly pissed off after his original executive order of January 27th, 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 February 4th.

Trump has been looking forward to the Supreme Court to take up the case and get it out of the hands of liberal (aka leftist) appellate judges.

Now that Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and he has since been confirmed, the balance of the court goes to the right side of the aisle.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote: "The Government has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits--that is, that the judgments below will be reversed." This was also supported by justices Alito and Gorsuch. "The Government has also established that failure to stay the injunctions will cause irreparable harm by interfering with its 'compelling need to provide for the Nation's security.'"

The federal appeals courts in California and Virginia ruled against Trump in recent weeks. And when Trump was a presidential candidate, a majority of the 4th Circuit appeals court cited his statements at the time that he was proposing a ban "preventing Muslim immigration."

But the White House frames the ban as a temporary move involving national security, and any fair-minded person who sees what's happening in the world would agree that a greater security threat exists from people coming from Islamic majority countries than from other nations.

The most difficult aspect of the immigration question the court will deal with is deciding just how much discretion does a president have over immigration. Courts have been deferential in the past and would allow presidents to use their discretion to deny entry to certain groups of refugees and diplomats.

The Immigration and Nationality Act passed in 1952 gives the president broad authority. Section 212 (f) states that: "Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may, may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

Justice Thomas criticized the majority for the compromise made in Monday's ruling. He indicated that he would have allowed the order to be enforced in full and believes "the Court's remedy" would inspire a flood of new litigation.

"Today's compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding--on perils of contempt--whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country," 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."

Hopefully, a more center-right Supreme Court will quash the attempts of the liberal appellate courts to obstruct Trump's reasonable executive orders.