The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.The dissenters were, not surprisingly, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Affirmative Action Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
The justices, with two dissenting votes, said Monday that the policy can take full effect even as legal challenges against it make their way through the courts. The action suggests the high court could uphold the latest version of the ban that Trump announced in September.
The ban applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a "bona fide" relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country. Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded.
[Supreme Court allows President Trump's travel ban to go fully into effect, Associated Press, December 4, 2017]
This represents a major victory for the Trump Administration, but it is not the end of the legal battle. Monday's decision simply means the ban will be implemented until legal challenges are resolved. Those challenges are currently before both the 4th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals. The Supreme Court ordered these lower courts to resolve their hearings "with appropriate dispatch."
Today's decision bodes well for President Trump in the all but inevitable final Supreme Court case which will decide the legality of the travel ban. More broadly, it shows President Trump has a great deal of power to stop immigration already. Now that the Supreme Court has shown its willingness to support his constitutional powers, perhaps he should start using them a bit more freely.