On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to allow some of Trump’s famous travel ban’s rulings to take effect. Specifically, the Supreme Court voted to allow the Trump administration to stop travelers from six majority Muslim countries to take effect. A full consideration of the powers of the president regarding immigration, along with issues surrounding religious discrimination and national security, will go ahead in the fall.
While the court allows most of the ban’s policies to take effect, the ruling did explicitly say that the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” This means that a foreign national from Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, or Libya would be able to enter the United States if they were intending to live with or visit a member of their family.
The court has only released an unsigned opinion so far, but they intend to fully hear the case after the Supreme Court has reconvened in October. Interestingly however, the temporary ban on people entering the United States will be over by the time the Supreme Court judges return. The executive order issues a 90-day ban, in which the government will review their vetting procedures to ensure that the safety of Americans will not be risked when allowing refugees and immigrants into the country. The justices explained in the ruling that they “fully expect” the government can perform a full review within that 90-day timeframe. Last week, President Trump confirmed that the executive order’s ban would come into effect just 72 hours after the courts gave their approval.
Not all justices agreed to the executive order being amended, however. Justices Samuel A. Alito and Clarence Thomas joined recently-appointed Neil M. Gorsuch in opposing the “compromise” made by the court. Thomas wrote:
“Today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding – on peril of contempt – whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.”
Rumors of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Retirement
Newspapers have been rife with rumors about the retirement of 80-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy. It was believed that Justice Kennedy was considering announcing his retirement over the weekend or before the current Supreme Court term. Justice Kennedy did not resign as expected by many in the press, signaling that he may not have any intention of retiring any time soon.
There is no rule that says Supreme Court Justices must retire while court is in session – in fact, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement during the summer in 2005. The chances of any resignation from Kennedy this year, however, have reduced. This means that while Trump may still have another Supreme Court Justice pick before the end of his first term, it could be some time yet.
The Response from the White House
In an official White House statement, President Donald Trump said that the unanimous decision made by the Supreme Court is a “clear victory of our national security.” He also says that the approval from the court allows the travel suspension become largely effective, and that as President, he “cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm.”
President Trump also sad that his number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep American citizens safe. He expressed his belief that the ruling allows him to use an important presidential tool to protect the American people. He also boasted that the Supreme Court’s decision was “9-0.”