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Court upholds Trump travel ban, rejects discrimination claim

AP  |  Washington 

The today upheld 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 today is the court's first substantive ruling on a policy.

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 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 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 and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are citizens." Justices Stephen Breyer, and also dissented.

The policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations Iran, Libya, Somalia, and It also affects two non-Muslim countries: blocking travelers from and some 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 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 Just a week after he took office in January 2017, Trump announced his first aimed at seven countries.

That triggered chaos and protests across the US as travellers were stopped from boarding international flights and detained at airports for hours. Trump tweaked the order after the 9th in refused to reinstate the ban.

The next version, unveiled in March 2017, dropped from the list of covered countries and made it clear the 90-day ban covering Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and didn't apply to those travellers 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 and had blocked the 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

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."


The today upheld 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 is the court's first substantive ruling on a policy.

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.

The court may have signalled its eventual approval in December, when the justices allowed the policy to take full effect even as the court fight continued and lower courts had ruled it out of bounds.

Roberts 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. Justice 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 and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are citizens." Justices Stephen Breyer, and also dissented.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 26 2018. 20:30 IST
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