Travel Ban Makes it Through Supreme Court Unchanged

Sean Bennett, Reporter

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The Supreme Court gave Republicans something to smile about Monday, December 5 after passing Trump’s latest version of the travel ban. Trump and his administration have been pushing to impose the travel ban since his inauguration in January. This is the first time that the ban has made it through the court completely unchanged, which has set an expectation for further rulings in favor of it in the future.

The ban itself, in its current form, places restrictions on travel to and from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia, and Yemen. Limits have been placed on these countries in particular because they present a “heightened risk of terrorism” according to White House officials.

As the proclamation has traveled through the court system, Trump and his administration have argued that he has the right to create travel bans for the purpose of protecting national security as commander-in-chief. White House spokesman Hogan Bidley said, “We are not surprised by today’s Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the president’s proclamation…” He also stated that the proclamation is “lawful and essential to protecting the homeland.”

Critics of the policy have claimed that this is simply a “Muslim Ban” and that it is not intended to protect national security. However, Solicitor General Noel Francisco noted in the court papers that the policy currently includes countries that are not majority muslim. “The proclamation is based on national security and foreign affairs objectives, not religious animus,” he said.

Although this particular ban does not affect many TERRA students, further travel restrictions certainly could. For instance, the recently passed limits to travel and trade to Cuba, which had an impact on a significant portion of the student body. Nevertheless, students still had things to say about Trump’s win in the Supreme Court.

Junior John Heiden said, “[Trump’s] intentions are probably good, but I don’t know if this is the right way to go about it. People should be free to travel where they want.” He also predicted that the ban will likely travel through the rest of the court system “without any issues” since it survived the Supreme Court completely unchanged. Despite his apprehensions, Heiden believes the president should have the power to make travel bans like this one as long as they go through Congress and the courts first, reasoning that, “If everyone approves it then it’s probably okay.”

Junior Melanie Gillardo expressed a prediction similar to Heiden’s, saying, “If it passed once it will probably continue to pass.” However, she did not show much support for the ban itself. “I don’t think it’s for national security, it’s probably more about religious prejudice. Gillardo also said it is not fair to limit travel of everyone from a certain country just because of a supposed threat of terrorism.

Although this big win for the Trump administration allows temporary enforcement of the ban, the policy’s journey through the legal system is not over yet. New challenges from district judges in Maryland and Hawaii have already been made. The Maryland case is currently pending before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Neal Katyal (representing Hawaii) has urged the upper court justices to leave their ruling intact. “This court has already struck the equitable balance that governs this appeal, and the President’s claim to unlimited power over immigration remains without merit.”


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