The Supreme Court has ruled to uphold President Trump’s third revision of the divisive Muslim travel ban. The ruling is based on a revision from September of last year which tweaked countries named in the first ban, thereby affecting travelers from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea and Yemen. The changes to the ban came after previous legal challenges against the Executive Order.
The ruling, authored by Justice John Roberts says that the ban falls “squarely” in the President’s authority. “The [order] is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices,” Justice Roberts wrote. “The text says nothing about religion.”
Former Acting Solicitor General of the United States Neal Katyal was the attorney for the challengers and said in a statement that while he was disappointed in the outcome, it is up to Congress to use the laws they have available to overturn the ban once and for all.
The case as presented to the court was brought by the state of Hawaii, which alleged that the ban was motivated by religious intolerance based on the fact that most of the nations listed in the travel ban are predominantly Muslim and that President Trump has clearly expressed bias against Muslims both on social media and through speeches he has given.
The court sided with the administration, with Roberts saying that the nations listed only count for eight percent of the world’s Muslims, and therefore is not based on religious hatred. But although the court upheld the ban, Roberts also pointed out that the ruling does not necessarily mean that the ban is sound. Those in favor did not take the President’s past words about Muslims into account in their ruling.
In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, “based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer will conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus…The majority holds otherwise by ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are US citizens.”
People are already protesting the Supreme Court’s decision. An impromptu protest was held in Washington DC following the announcement. Further protests are also slated for 6 pm on Tuesday in cities across the country, including New York City; Raleigh; North Carolina; Atlanta; St. Louis, Missouri; Nashville, Tennessee; Minneapolis, and many others. The Jewish organization Bend the Arc has tweeted a comprehensive list of participating cities.
The Women’s March is hosting a”day of action” outside of Baltimore City Hall in Maryland on Wednesday beginning at 6 pm.
(Photo via Mark Wilson/Getty Images)