Travel Ban, Church-State Case Await Action By Supreme Court

Pauline Gross
June 26, 2017

For people who want to come to the United States to work or study, "the relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, not for the goal of evading" the travel ban.

The case is at the Supreme Court because two federal appellate courts have ruled against the Trump travel policy, which would impose a 90-day pause in travel from citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on nationality-based discrimination.

As for refugees, the court held that a person seeking refuge in the USA can claim "concrete hardship" - but in the end, if they "lack any such connection to the United States. the balance tips in favor of the government's compelling need to provide for the Nation's security". The issue has been tied up in the courts since Trump's original order in January sparked widespread protests just days after he took office.

The court ruled that the decision of lower courts was too broad in including those with no connection to people already in the U.S. Opponents still worry people will be caught in legal limbo if the ban is enforced.

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The US Supreme Court is holding the last session of its current term today (June 26)-and it is the final chance the justices will have to settle several weighty issues before the court's annual summer recess. It would also ban Syrian refugees from entering the country. The challengers in that case, led by the nonprofit International Refugee Assistance Project, argued that the travel ban is a thinly veiled attempt to block Muslims from entering the country, something Trump and his advisers talked about during and after the presidential campaign. A new ban might include more countries or be made permanent, or both. That order, like the first, ran into legal challenges. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare.

Alternatively, the Supreme Court could choose against taking the case, which would leave the lower courts' decisions in place. As was mostly the case last year, this year is a break in that pattern in that there have been only a handful of cases likely to have a wide-ranging impact on the law and American politics in the way that the decisions handed down in cases dealing with everything from the Affordable Care Act to same-sex marriage.

The justices have a range of options. Three of them, all involving immigrants or foreigners, were heard by an eight-justice court before Gorsuch joined the bench in April. Gorsuch is sure to take part in weighing the ban proposed by the president who nominated him. Within days, federal judges in NY and Boston intervened, and a third federal judge in Seattle issued a nationwide injunction in early February. As a comparison, Justice Elena Kagan resisted calls to step aside from the high court's consideration of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a 2015 immigration case that a "legitimate and bona fide" reason for denying entry to the United States can pass muster.

As it reached the Supreme Court, the travel ban had been struck down on both constitutional and statutory grounds.

Other reports by GizPress

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