Donald Trump instituted an ill-fated travel ban affecting people from seven predominantly Muslim countries shortly after taking office. Several states filed a lawsuit to prevent the ban from going into effect. Now, the case has worked its way to the Supreme Court, which just handed down its ruling.
Trump signed the first ban on people traveling from the primarily Muslim countries for a period of 90 days. The ban would have also temporarily halted all refugees from entering the country. It banned all Syrian refugees indefinitely, according to the BBC.
In March, the Trump administration took Iraq off of the list. It also made an exception for all green-card holders and those with dual citizenships. The Supreme Court decided to allow that ban to go into effect, along with a 120-day ban on all refugees. However, it exempted anyone with a “bona fide connection” to the United States, meaning a close relative connection.
In its third and final revised version, which was released in late September, the Trump ban was to affect only six Muslim-majority countries. The administration dropped Iraq from the list. That meant travelers would be banned from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. In Trump’s third attempt, the ban also added two countries without a Muslim majority: North Korea and Venezuela.
The lower courts allowed the case to move to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Trump administration ban on these countries could go into full effect, even as the case moves through the court system. The decision passed seven to two. Only Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, meaning they would have allowed people from these countries to enter the U.S., as long as they could claim an accepted relationship to someone already in the country. The other judges said that the ban could go into effect.
The legal challenge against the Trump ban hoped the Supreme Court would continue allowing travelers from these six countries to continue until the case came before the Supreme Court. Since it failed, this action could mean that the highest court might favor Trump’s revised version of the ban.
Before the Supreme Court made its ruling Monday, the lower courts ruled that people from the Muslim majority countries could claim a “bona fide” relationship to someone already in the U.S., and that would prevent them from being banned. The courts said that the list of relatives could not exclude grandparents, cousins, and several other categories of relatives.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, located in San Francisco, and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Richmond, Virginia, will hold arguments on the fundamental legality of the Trump ban this week. These courts have moved the case along on an accelerated track. The Supreme Court said in its ruling that it wants both courts to make their final decisions “with appropriate dispatch.”
If the appellate courts reach a rapid resolution, the Supreme Court would be able to schedule a hearing and make its determination during this term, which is over by the end of June.
Featured Image via Getty Images/George Frey.