BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld President Donald Trump’s third travel ban in a 5-4 decision.
The court said the travel ban was “squarely within the scope of presidential authority” under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim was unlikely to succeed.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion. Roberts said the government had advanced a sufficient national security justification, though “we express no view on the soundness of the policy.” The court reversed a preliminary injunction banning the policy from taking effect and remanded the case for further proceedings.
The court did not decide whether a nationwide injunction was permissible.
Sotomayor said in her dissent that any reasonable observer would conclude that the travel ban was motivated by anti-Muslim bias that violates the establishment clause. The majority decision “leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns,” Sotomayor wrote. “But this repackaging does little to cleanse Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 of the appearance of discrimination that the president’s words have created.”
The case is Trump v. Hawaii.
Hat tip to SCOTUSblog, which quickly summarized the opinion.