Update on Trump’s Travel Ban: What the Supreme Court Could Rule This Week

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Supreme Court building

Over the next days, the nation’s highest court will decide the fate of Trump’s travel ban. The legal fight over whether it is unconstitutional to not allow in visitors and refugees from six countries with a predominantly Muslim population started in January when Trump signed the ban just weeks after being sworn in.

Trump wants to bar travelers from Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Iran from entering the U.S. for 90 days until his administration can beef up the screening processes of visa seekers from these high-risk countries.

The ban’s critics claim that the Trump administration violates federal law and discriminates against Muslims on religious grounds. Lower courts blocked the ban, but its fate is unclear now that it has reached the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court’s Options

This week, SCOTUS could either uphold the ban or keep it suspended. With the votes of five justices, the Supreme Court could side with Trump and reinstate the ban. Trump said that the ban would be back in place within three days if the top court decides to uphold it. The ban will not target Muslims already in the U.S. and those having a valid visa.

The Supreme Court, however, could side with the ban’s critics and keep it on hold. In that case, the Trump administration would still be able to conduct a three-months review or come up with another version of the executive order. A new ban could be permanent or target more Muslim countries.

Regardless of whether the Supreme Court agrees with the ban or decides to keep it suspended, an argument on the matter could be scheduled for this fall. Nevertheless, an argument would be useless if the ban is allowed to take effect because it would have run its course by the time the argument takes place.

Update: Supreme Court Ruling- 1:03pm

A limited version of Trump’s travel ban has been passed by the Supreme Court. The decision was 9-0 to ban travel from 6 Muslim-majority countries. The Supreme Court then ruled they would hear arguments in a lawsuit against the policy in October. Travelers from Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia will not be allowed to enter the country unless they have a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity” in the U.S. We’ll see if that even gets upheld. Justices were not required to reveal their votes so it’s unclear whether or not the ruling was unanimous. Three conservative justices– Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch– signed a separate opinion stating the wanted the travel ban fully reinstated.
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