The US Supreme Court on Monday allowed the third and newest version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six mainly Muslim countries to take effect pending appeal.
The court’s orders mean that the administration can fully enforce its new restrictions on travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim.
For now, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be barred from entering the United States, along with some groups of people from Venezuela.
The decision was a victory for the administration after its mixed success before the court over the summer, when justices considered and eventually dismissed disputes over the second version.
On Monday, seven of the nine justices lifted injunctions imposed by lower courts on the policy.
It was gathered that only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have allowed the president’s order to remain blocked.
Issued in September, the third edition of the travel ban placed varying levels of restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen.
Lower courts in two separate challenges had partially blocked the ban.
The order is a significant temporary win for the Trump administration, which has fought all year to impose a travel ban against citizens of several Muslim-majority countries. Monday’s order means it can be enforced while challenges to the policy make their way through the legal system.
The Trump administration has maintained that the President has the authority to install travel bans in order to protect national security.
“The Constitution and acts of Congress confer on the President broad authority to prevent aliens abroad from entering this country when he deems it in the nation’s interest,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in court papers. Francisco argued that the ban was necessary “in order to protect national security.”
Federal appeals courts in San Francisco, California, and Richmond, Virginia, will hear arguments this week on whether the latest iteration of the policy is lawful.
Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, wrote on Twitter that Monday’s ruling was “devastating news”.
But she added: “It’s important to remember that the Supreme Court has NOT addressed the legal merits of the latest Muslim Ban nor the human impacts w/its order today.”
“The fight continues.”