Dana Milbank: Supreme Court decision upholding travel ban validates religious discrimination

Supreme Court Upholds Donald Trump’s Travel Ban 3.0, Says POTUS ‘Possesses An Extraordinary Power’

By a 5-4 vote, the justices rejected arguments that Trump overstepped his authority under the immigration laws and that his targeting of mostly Muslim-majority countries amounted to unconstitutional religious discrimination. The third order was issued as a presidential proclamation in September.

Just a week after he took office in January 2017, Mr Trump announced his first travel ban aimed at seven countries. "It states that deciding who can and cannot enter our country does indeed fall within the realm of executive responsibility". During election campaign, as a candidate, Trump himself had given arguments to opponents of this veto by claiming that he had to ban country from "Muslims" to reduce risks of Islamist terrorism.

"This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country".

Roberts rejected the comparison with Japanese-American internment, saying that the war-era practice was "objectively unlawful and outside the scope of presidential authority".

The ruling has reversed the decision of a lower court that put the travel ban on hold.

"At the same time, we align with the sentiment expressed by the US Travel Association and other industry leaders that an overt message welcoming legitimate worldwide travellers to the United States should accompany any security steps aimed at terrorists".

Trump nearly immediately stated his delight in the Supreme Court ruling, taking to his Twitter account to declare, "Wow!"

CNN's polling back in early 2017 found a majority opposed to the ban of "travel to the USA for the next three months by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries", and suspension of "the United States refugee program for four months while reducing the total number of refugees the U.S. will accept this year" with 53% in opposition and 47% in favor. Venezuela and North Korea also were targeted in the current policy.

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Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.

The ruling is a major victory for Trump and his administration as well as an implicit rebuke to the judges on the East and West coasts who repeatedly issued nationwide orders to block the travel ban.

"As long as I am President, I will defend the sovereignty, safety, and security of the American People, and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and its citizens".

"As it is imperative that the travelling public maintain confidence in an industry so vital to our nation's economy, we ask that the administration set clear implementation guidelines in short order such that travel disruptions are kept to an absolute minimum", said ASTA advocacy executive vice president Eben Peck.

In the majority opinion, Roberts called that decision "gravely wrong the day it was decided" and "overruled in the court of history", but Sotomayor warns that history could repeat itself. The ruling has drawn sharp criticism from immigrant advocates and praise from Trump supporters.

After a more moderate version of the two GOP proposals failed on Thursday and two delays on the Republicans' "compromise" bill, pressure is on the president's party to finally deliver a fix to the country's immigration problems, including controversial family separations along the USA border.

Booker pointed out that Trump spoke out against Muslims and Mexicans during his presidential campaign. A telling statistic, it shows that many would rather a court stop this from continuing. When CNN asked in February 2017 if the executive order is an attempt to ban Muslims from entering the United States, 55% said it was.

The court's decision "swallows wholesale government lawyers' flimsy national security excuse for the ban instead of taking seriously the president's own explanation for his actions", Jadwat added.

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