People protest the travel ban in January.
Bryan R. Smith / AFP / Getty Images
The Supreme Court will review President Trump's travel ban, the court announced on Monday morning.
In the meantime, the court allowed the federal government to implement the travel and refugee bans contained in Trump's March 6 executive order in part — against those without connections to people or groups in the US.
Under Trump’s June 14 presidential memorandum, the parts of the travel and refugee bans that the Supreme Court ruling allows to be enforced will go into effect in 72 hours.
Earlier this year, district courts in Hawaii and Maryland issued injunctions against enforcing both the travel and refugee bands. The Justice Department appealed those rulings. In a per curiam opinion — meaning for the court (and not in the name of an individual justice) — the Supreme Court granted the Justice Department's stay request in part. That move that narrows the lower court's injunctions, meaning that some parts of the travel ban may go into effect.
Here's what the court said about the 90-day ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries: "Section 2© 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," the court stated. "All other foreign nationals are subject to the provisions of" the executive order signed by Trump.
In other words, if a person seeking an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa from one of the six affected countries has a genuine connection to people or groups already in the US — who could, potentially, assert their own rights — then they cannot be excluded under the ban. Determining people's connections to people and groups in the US likely will involve federal agencies' initial determinations and, ultimately, the courts.
Regarding the refugee ban, the court held that the same rule applies as to Section 6(a) — the 120-day halt to the refugee program.
The court noted that 6(b) — the 50,000-person cap on refugees — cannot be enforced as to refugees otherwise allowed in under Section 6(a). "[T]hat is, such a person may not be excluded pursuant to Section 6(b), even if the 50,000-person cap has been reached or exceeded," the court held.
Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for himself and Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, would have stayed the injunctions "in full" — allowing full enforcement of the travel and refugee bans.
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