The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump’s travel ban that targets several Muslim-majority countries. Five of the nine judges – called justices – agreed that the president has authority to limit travel from foreign countries for national security reasons.
Last September, Trump’s government banned most citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen from traveling to the United States. Most North Koreans and some people linked to the Venezuelan government are also banned. A sixth Muslim-majority nation, Chad, also was included in the ban before the Trump administration removed it from the list.
Tuesday’s court decision means the ban will remain in effect. Trump could add more countries to the list.
Opponents of the ban challenged the decision in court. They said the orders were illegal because they targeted Muslims. But a small majority of Supreme Court justices said the challengers did not show the ban violates either U.S. immigration law or the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion statement that Trump’s government had successfully demonstrated national security reasons for the ban. He added that the court would not comment on whether the policy was good.
In a dissent statement, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that “a reasonable observer” would consider the ban to be “anti-Muslim,” based on evidence in the case. She added that the five justices who approved the ban also turned “a blind eye to the pain and suffering the proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are U.S. citizens.”
The Supreme Court’s decision is a political victory for Trump. He has defended it as a key part of his immigration policy and part of his “America First” way of governing. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the president wrote on Twitter, in capital letters: “SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!”
I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.