Travel ban, church-state case await action by Supreme Court

Claudine Rigal
Juin 26, 2017

The Supreme Court will rule on Monday whether to hear the challenge to President Donald Trump's executive order banning immigration from several predominately Muslim nations.

"Anthony Perry asks us to tweak a congressional statute-just a little-so that it might (he says) work a bit more efficiently", Gorsuch writes.

The court said that the error did not appear to affect the outcome of the case, even though it violated the U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment right to a public trial.

Trump's executive order, titled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" was issued in March.

With today's Supreme Court order, the travel ban will remain on hold for plaintiffs who challenged the executive order and for anyone who is "similarly situated", the justices say - in other words, foreign nationals who have relatives in the US, or who plan to attend school or work here.

The travel ban sparked massive protests and lawsuits, all of which the Trump administration lost until now. He was a federal judge, and had no involvement in the formulation or roll out of the travel policy. That indicates that people from the six countries and refugees who have family, business or other ties would not be barred from entry.

This is Trump's second attempt to install a travel ban. It had been blocked by courts on both constitutional and statutory grounds.

The court didn't directly resolve the underlying issues in the case, instead focusing on the scope of the lower court orders and the impact those orders would have on the two sides in the case. The government's lawyers have appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing the goal is to keep Americans safe.

The action Monday is a victory for Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.

"This is about the executive order itself".

In terms of a replacement, Kennedy might take comfort in the list of 20 judges Trump has vowed to draw from when considering the next vacancy on the court. "It is not about the campaign or anything else", Toobin added. Three of them, all involving immigrants or foreigners, were heard by an eight-justice court before Gorsuch joined the bench in April.

After that term, former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said, "It is very much Justice Kennedy's Court". If Thomas retires, of course, it would have less of an impact on the Court since we would be seeing a conservative Justice being replaced by another conservative.

"The fact that neither agreed with the dissenters to put the full Executive Order into effect may be an important signal for how they'd be likely to rule on the merits - and a bad sign for the Trump administration at least with respect to no - citizens with connections to the United States", Vladeck said.

The latest instance came Friday when Gorsuch issued his first written dissent in a minor case about a federal employee challenging his dismissal from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Trump's first executive order on travel applied to travelers from the six countries as well as Iraq, and took effect immediately, causing chaos and panic at airports over the last weekend in January as the Homeland Security Department scrambled to figure out who the order covered and how it was to be implemented.

But a strongly conservative successor to Kennedy could push the court firmly to the right, and Democrats say they would fight such a pick fiercely.

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