The US Supreme Court has ruled that Donald Trump’s ‘Travel Ban’ can be fully enacted after legal challenges from federal courts partially blocked the ban. The US Supreme Court has so far not given any reason for its ruling but urged the lower courts to wrap up their arguments so that a decision could be reached as soon as possible. Seven of the nine justices voted in favor of the ban, hinting that they were making a distinction between Trump’s initial order and the newly revised version.
The decision comes after several changes were put forward in late September to include countries such as North Korea and Venezuela while removing Iraq and Sudan from the list. The countries that are still on the list include Iran, Syria, Yemen, Chad, Libya, and Somalia, each country facing varying levels of restrictions in terms of travel and immigration policies.
The additions involving Chad, Venezuela and North Korea are under scrutiny by critics who argue that, barring UN diplomats who are unaffected, no human traffic comes from North Korea. The ban on Venezuelans only affects certain government officials and their closest family members. Meanwhile, barely two hundred Chadians entered the USA in 2015 while Saudi Arabia, a major sponsor of extremist terrorist groups and the birthplace of several 9/11 conspirators, remained absent from the list.
Trump previously called for a ban to help defeat ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ and vowed to be tougher on borders and immigration along with his attorney general Jeff Sessions. His last two attempts were blocked by federal judges and while the Supreme Court has passed this version, legal challenges have continued to plague the policy.
Back in June, the Supreme Court allowed an earlier version of the ban to take partial effect along with a provision of a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the US, except for those with a “bona fide” US connection. For example, grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded and would be allowed to enter.
Many critics argue that the ban is still a Muslim ban with the additions amounting to little more than window dressing. Those who opposed the travel ban will be dismayed by the ruling as they believe that Trump’s travel ban is inherently racist and will only fuel distrust and hatred against the USA.
Nevertheless, the latest ruling is a big boost for Trump who is currently celebrating the passing of his tax reform bill through Congress while staving off the recent controversy over former national security advisor Micheal Flynn’s cooperation with the Russin investigation. Today’s ruling is a sign that the Supreme Court is more willing to accept Trump’s ban and the revisions that have come with it.
Further arguments will be heard this week by federal courts in San Francisco, California, and Richmond, Virginia. The resolution of those arguments will allow the Supreme Court to reach a decision by the middle of next year, if not sooner.