Travel ban, church-state case await action by Supreme Court

Justice Anthony Kennedy might be retiring

Justice Anthony Kennedy might be retiring

The Refugee Justice League said the Supreme Court's action allows a limited version of President Trump's ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he's "deeply disappointed" that the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed injunctions that had blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban from taking effect. These countries are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The executive order also made waivers available for a foreign national seeking to enter the United States to resume work or study, visit a spouse, child or parent who is a U.S. citizen, or for "significant business or professional obligations". "From a political optics perspective, the decision benefits Trump".

"As president, I can not allow people into our country who want to do us harm", Trump said in a statement Monday.

Within 24 hours, the state of Hawaii filed a lawsuit before the ban was blocked nationwide a week later, mere hours before it was set to take effect. "If you were against it, the court's willingness to hear oral arguments later this year indicates that the issue isn't truly settled just yet".

Despite Trump's typically hyperbolic declaration of total victory, the court's ruling Monday was mixed.

The US government says it has the legal right, with a valid court warrant, to reach into the world's servers with the assistance of the tech sector, no matter where the data is stored. The Court will decide whether the take the case of a Colorado baker who declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. Depending on the results of the review, Trump could push to extend the measure, or even make it permanent.

But other groups, such as Amnesty International USA, warned of grave consequences, such as a renewal of "chaos" at airports and an enforcement of the ban that would "tear families apart".

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to win the legal case in the end.

The Court's decision that the individual mandate at the center of the Affordable Care Act was, in fact, constitutional was regarded by many conservatives as a betrayal.

In the beginning of March, President Trump proposed a new travel ban in which Iraq was excluded. Trump cited national security concerns as the reason for the order.

"The Department of Homeland Security has indicated that it is discussing the executive order and the court's decision with the departments of State and Justice and will provide additional information on implementation at a later date".

Republicans, many of whom actively worked against Trump's unorthodox candidacy, have been reluctant to oppose him after he was sworn in as they relished the thought of the first GOP White House and Congress in a decade succeeding in pushing a conservative agenda.

David Levine, a professor at the University of California's Hastings College of Law, said the justices likely will not sidestep a ruling on the executive order on those grounds.

Lawyers for challengers to the order rushed to federal courts, and the order was stayed within days. "It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective".

He argued it was necessary for national security while the administration reviews procedures for allowing travelers from the Muslim-dominant countries into the U.S. It's now unlikely to get resolved until the second year of Trump's presidency.

Justice Anthony Kennedy hasn't said when he's retiring, or whether he might announce his decision on the last day of the court's current term, but rumors that the soon to be 81-year-old judge is stepping down are swirling.

"The Supreme Court surely will shudder at the majority's adoption of this new rule that has no limits or bounds", wrote dissenting 4th Circuit Judge Paul Niemeyer.

When asked about that, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told ABC: "I will never reveal a conversation between a sitting justice and the president or the White House, but we're paying very close attention to these last bit of decisions".

February 5: A San Francisco-based federal appeals court rejects a Justice Department request to immediately reinstate the travel ban, scheduling a hearing for both sides to present additional documents. For an already highly vetted population, this ruling will only create more harm and difficulties. She says the USA government will keep people traveling to the US and members of the travel industry informed "in a professional, organized and timely way".

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