The U.S. Supreme Court on has handed a victory to President Donald Trump by reviving parts of his travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees and agreeing to decide its legality later this year in a major test of presidential powers.
The justices narrowed the scope of lower court rulings that had completely blocked his March 6 executive order that Trump had said was needed to prevent terrorism in the United States, allowing his temporary ban to go into effect for people with no strong ties such as family or business to the United States.
In a statement, Trump called the high court’s action “a clear victory for our national security,” saying the justices allowed the travel suspension to become largely effective.
“As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive,” Trump added.
The lower courts that had blocked the order said it violated federal immigration law and was discriminatory against Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Critics called it a “Muslim ban.”
There were no noted dissents among the nine justices in the unsigned decision, although three of the conservative justices said they would have gone a step further by granting Trump’s request to implement the bans fully while the legal battle continues.
The court did not give Trump everything he wanted.
His March 6 order called for a blanket 90-day ban on people from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees to enable the government to implement stronger vetting procedures. It was blocked by federal judges before going into effect on March 16 as planned.
Both bans are now due to partly go into effect in 72 hours, based on a memorandum issued by the Trump administration on June 14.