Trump declares 'profound vindication' with travel ban's victory court

Washington - By Frank Fuhrig, - US President Donald Trump took "profound vindication" after the Supreme Court on Tuesday narrowly upheld his order blocking entry by people from several Muslim-majority countries.

The September 2017 executive order indefinitely imposed at least partial entry bans against people from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, citing high-risk environments and "inadequate" cooperation by those governments with US information-sharing demands.

New York Senator Charles Schumer, leader of opposition Democrats in the upper chamber, called the policy "backward and un-American."
"The president's travel ban doesn't make us safer, and the Supreme Court's ruling doesn't make it right," he said.
Trump tweeted "Wow!" in celebration with an all-caps headline within minutes of the 5-4 ruling and later called criticism of his policy "hysterical."
The court's five Republican appointees ruled in a 39-page opinion in the case, Trump vs Hawaii, that the action was "squarely within the scope of presidential authority" delegated to the executive branch under US immigration law.
Chief Justice John Roberts' majority opinion emphasized that the presidential order "says nothing about religion."
During oral arguments in April before the nine Supreme Court justices, the plaintiffs argued that the order unconstitutionally discriminates based on religion and national origin by mainly targeting Muslim countries, citing Trump's own statements as evidence of his motivations.
In December 2015, Trump's presidential campaign called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
The American Civil Liberties Union, which participated in legal challenges to the executive order, compared the Trump policy and the court's decision to "the most shameful chapters of US history," including the World War II internment of citizens of Japanese origin.
"This is not the first time the court has been wrong, or has allowed official racism and xenophobia to continue rather than standing up to it," the ACLU tweeted.
The decision included two concurring opinions by justices voting with the majority, plus two long dissenting opinions by the court's four Democratic-appointed members.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the Trump policy "now masquerades behind a facade of national-security concerns."
"Based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer would conclude that the proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus," she said.
Sotomayor accused the majority of "ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens."
The decision comes days after the right-wing populist Trump reversed his Homeland Security Department's new policy separating families detained at the Mexican border, amid an uproar that included some of his own Republican lawmakers.
Congress is weighing immigration reforms, but the conservative Republican majorities are split between pro-Trump hardliners and moderates, ahead of November mid-term elections in which opposition Democrats hope to win control of one or both chambers.
The Supreme Court majority in Tuesday's opinion included Justice Neil Gorsuch, whom Trump appointed last year, after Republicans in the Senate blocked a confirmation vote on former president Barack Obama's nominee to fill a 2016 vacancy.
A week after taking office in January 2017, Trump signed an executive order suspending the US refugee programme for 120 days, indefinitely blocking Syrian refugees and banning travellers from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days.
The original measure and a revised version weeks later were immediately stalled by legal challenges.
The third version was scheduled to take effect in October but blocked by lower courts, until the Supreme Court in December allowed implementation pending further appeals.
Senator Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, asked, "Who's next?"
"Is the president going to say that it's our national security to ban people from Canada?" she wrote on Twitter. "To ban people from Guatemala? From Honduras?"
In a later statement, Trump described Tuesday's ruling as "a tremendous victory for the American people and the Constitution."
"In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country," he said.


Tuesday, June 26th 2018

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