The Supreme Court has decided to allow a limited version of the travel ban instituted by U.S. President Donald Trump to take effect. This is a temporary measure, as the court plans to consider the constitutionality of the ban some time in the fall. The ban will apply to travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, which are majority Muslim countries. The court clarified that this ban would not apply to travelers who are enrolled in an American university or have a family member that lives in the United States. While no one on the court voted against allowing the ban to go through for the time being, Justice Clarence Thomas expressed his concern that the compromise will “burden executive officials with the task of deciding, on peril 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.”
This is an interesting move as the executive order that enacted the original ban was only expected to last 90 to 120 days before vetting procedures could be sorted out in a more effective manner. It’s unclear whether the ban will be allowed to play out in full. Regardless, President Trump celebrated the decision to allow the ban to go through for a time, calling it “a clear victory for our national security.” He was particularly proud of the unanimous decision that was reached on the lifting of the temporary hold. In accordance with statements made prior to the decision, the ban is expected to go into effect within 72 hours of the announcement.
The Supreme Court case in the fall is important to groups who contend that the ban is an act of discrimination against Muslims, and therefore in conflict with the First Amendment of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The Trump administration believes that it needs to have the ability to enact such a ban in order to fulfill its mandate of maintaining national security.