Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Temporary OK for travel ban puts focus on Wednesday hearing

Temporary OK for travel ban puts focus on Wednesday hearing

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce a travel ban targeting eight countries, six of them Muslim majority nations with no mention of a "bona fide" exception. The high court's decision now puts those rulings on hold. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have kept in place partial stays on the order. The court was advised that the countries were put on the watch list only after the administration concluded they lacked the "identity management" systems that would permit USA officials to spot would-be travelers who presented a "heightened risk". "We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts", Gidley said.

The Supreme Court allowed the third version of President Trump's travel ban to go into effect Monday while legal challenges in lower appeals courts continue.

"The Constitution gives the president the responsibility and power to protect this country from all threats foreign and domestic, and this order remains vital to accomplishing those goals", he said.

"Now that the Supreme Court has ordered the lifting of restrictions on this ban, minimum security standards for entry into the U.S. can be enforced", he added.

The revised order bans most travellers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela.

Trump's ban also covers people from North Korea and certain government officials from Venezuela, but the lower courts had already allowed those provisions to go into effect.

But lawyers for the Trump administration argued that those restrictions were "dangerously flawed". The proclamation subjects other visa holders to additional scrutiny.

Hawaii's attorney, Neal Katyal, said in court papers "it is hard to conceive of a more flagrant example of discrimination because of nationality".

Two weeks ago, the solicitor general filed an emergency plea with the high court urging the justices to bypass two lower courts that were weighing legal challenges to the third version of Trump's travel order, which was issued September 24.

He said the fact that these "particular plaintiffs have now been reunited with their loved ones - or some of their loved ones - thanks to the preliminary injunction underscores how imminent the proclamation's threatened injuries are and how crucial the injunction in this case is for the plaintiffs and others similarly situated".

Critics of Trump's travel restrictions insist that they make up the Muslim ban he promised during his campaign, and judges have seized on the president's public statements on Twitter and elsewhere in finding them unconstitutionally discriminatory.

The ruling is a win for the Trump administration after much deliberation and consideration on multiple levels of the court system.

The justices said the cases were moot since the orders had expired and there was no longer a "live case or controversy" to settle.

While courts in Hawaii and Maryland had partially blocked the third ban, the Supreme Court on Monday stepped in and lifted those orders pending the outcome of legal challenges in the 9th as well as the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit, which is scheduled to hear arguments Friday.

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