Image Credits: AP Photo
Today the Supreme Court held in a 9-0 decision to reinstate parts of President Trump’s executive order or “travel ban,” entitled “Executive Order No. 13769, Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” There has been a lot of conversation floating around about what’s happening with the ban, so let’s break it down.
The original ban
The original travel ban prevented foreign nationals of seven nations from entering the United States for a period of 90 days. The seven nations are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. These seven nations have had “known ties” to terrorist groups. Thus the ban was said to have been put in place in the interest of national security.
First ban struck
A federal district court struck down the travel ban by “enjoining several key provisions.” They subsequently denied the Trump Administration’s emergency motion for appeal by the Ninth Circuit. This prevented the government from enforcing the travel ban the way it was designed.
The second ban
Following the suit, President Trump issued Executive Order No. 13780. This order implemented a ban on six nations with known ties to terrorism that produce a heightened security risk for our country. It “direct[ed] the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a global review to determine whether foreign governments provide adequate information about nationals applying for United States visas,” “direct[ed] the Secretary to report his findings to the President within 20 days of the order’s ‘effective date’, and directed that the ban cover six of the first seven identified nations, excluding Iraq. It also “suspend[ed] ‘decisions on applications for refugee status’ and ‘travel of refugees into the United States…’ for 120 days”.
Second ban struck
The second executive order was brought to court claiming that it violated the Establishment Clause. The district court issued a temporary injunction preventing the government from implementing and enforcing the ban. This lawsuit was heard in the Ninth Circuit of Hawaii. The Fourth Circuit Court of appeals later heard the case and voted en banc to uphold the enjoinment of the ban. The appeal on the Ninth Circuit issued a per curium opinion upholding the prior ruling. This appeal was held against the President on the grounds that he overreached his power, instead of on original grounds of an Establishment Clause violation.
What are the main issues?
The main issues at play are:
There is a claimed violation of the Establishment Clause;
There is a claim that the President acted outside of his power; and
The ruling by the Circuit courts did not alter the effective date of March 16th, making the expiration date June 14th, upon which day the issues would be moot.