Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

USA appeals court hears arguments on Trump travel ban

USA appeals court hears arguments on Trump travel ban

It's not a final ruling, but the Supreme Court is letting the Trump administration fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries. The court's order said the appeals courts should decide the cases "with appropriate dispatch". Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor said they would deny the request but did not spell out their reasons.

The ban will mean citizens from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, groups in Venezuela, and North Korea will be unable to emigrate, live, work, or vacation in the United States.

The Run-UpThe podcast that makes sense of the most delirious stretch of the 2016 campaign. 150 million people are now not allowed to come to the United States.

The Supreme Court's orders effectively overturned a compromise in place since June, when the court said travelers with connections to the United States could continue to travel here notwithstanding restrictions in an earlier version of the ban. Lower courts have continued to find problems with it.

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Trump's lawyers were not satisfied with that partial win in the appeals courts.

In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the court's decision a "substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people".

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said the latest version of the travel ban is "lawful and essential to protecting our homeland". The third iteration of the travel ban - after the first two were blocked by the judiciary - has been in force partially. The appeals courts are also considering claims that the ban reflected unconstitutional bias against Muslims. "It's unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims", said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project.

The decision, with only two dissents, strongly suggests the justices believe the current version of Trump's broad travel ban does not exceed his powers under the immigration laws and does not reflect unconstitutional religious discrimination against Muslims.

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The Trump administration has maintained that the President has the authority to install travel bans in order to protect national security and protect the country from terror attacks. A temporary ban on refugees expired in October. They say that was reinforced most recently by Trump's retweets of anti-Muslim videos. Mooppan said the law didn't set a limit for how long a proclamation could be in effect.

The administration has appealed both decisions to federal appeals courts in Seattle and Richmond, Va. Arguments in those appeals are scheduled for this week.

The Justice Department has countered that the administration did meet its burden, pointing to findings in Trump's order that USA officials identified problems with how countries covered under the ban handled information-sharing in the immigration process, undermining the United States' ability to make sure that people entering the country don't pose a threat. The decision of the SC was supported by seven of the nine judges which increase the chances of the administration winning the case on merit as and when it reaches the highest court.

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