By Gianni Marabella
On Monday, Dec. 2, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of President Donald Trump’s latest rendition of the travel ban restricting individuals from the countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from coming to the United States.
The ban, which is the third iteration that Trump has proposed, bans individuals from the aforementioned countries from emigrating to the United States. This does not apply with individuals who are classified as having a bona fide relationship with the U.S., including those traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations and G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-4 visas.
This decision has been seen as a victory for the Trump administration.
“The Constitution gives the president the responsibility and power to protect this country from all threats foreign and domestic, and this order remains vital to accomplishing those goals,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. Sessions also called it “a substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people.”
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the only two to vote against the travel ban out of the nine judges. This is a big change from the vote held on the previous version of the ban, which was supported only by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.
The policy is being pushed forward despite two notable challenges against it which have not yet made their way through the legal system. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson of Honolulu issued a decision in October against the ban, and Maryland U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang issued a similar order just hours later.
“The categorical restrictions on entire populations of men, women, and children, based upon nationality, are a poor fit for the issues regarding the sharing of ‘public-safety and terrorism-related information’ that the President identifies,” Watson said in his 40 page ruling.
Watson and Chuang’s cases are set to go before appeals courts this week. It isn’t known why the lower court orders were put on hold, however it was said by the administration that blocking the ban in its entirety was causing “irreparable harm” due to foreign policy concerns.
Organizations across the nation have spoken out against the decision, and made clear their plans to fight it moving forward.
“President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret — he has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter,” said American Civil Liberties Union President Omar Jadwat. “It’s unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims. We continue to stand for freedom, equality, and for those who are unfairly being separated from their loved ones. We will be arguing Friday in the Fourth Circuit that the ban should ultimately be struck down.”
The justices offered no explanation for their order, but the administration had said that blocking the full ban was causing “irreparable harm” because the policy is based on legitimate national security and foreign policy concerns.
The order also calls for a review into suspending the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allows travelers from 38 countries — including close allies — to renew travel authorizations without an in-person interview.
“President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret — he has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter. It’s unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims. We continue to stand for freedom, equality, and for those who are unfairly being separated from their loved ones. We will be arguing Friday in the Fourth Circuit that the ban should ultimately be struck down,” Omar Jadwat, the director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said.