U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Executive Order Travel Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) revived parts of a travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries that had been introduced by way of executive order of President Donald Trump earlier in the year.

The International Refugee Assistance Project and other partner organisations filed a federal lawsuit challenging President Trump’s Muslim ban Executive Order 13769, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. The lawsuit challenged the lawfulness and constitutionality of the first executive order signed by U.S President Donald Trump in January 2017. There were three sections of the executive order that were in issue before the Supreme Court. First, the order suspended for ninety days the immigrant and non-immigrant entry of foreign nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries identified as presenting heightened terrorism risks. The countries were identified as Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Second, the section of the executive order also sought to suspend for 120 days decisions on applications for refugee status and travel of refugees into the United States. Third, the section of the executive order sought to limit fiscal year 2017 refugee admissions to no more than 50,000.

The respondents challenged the order in two separate lawsuits. According to the respondents the executive order violated the Constitution, including the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantees of equal treatment under the law and federal laws. The respondents obtained preliminary injunctions barring enforcement of several of its provisions, including the 90-day suspension of entry. The injunctions were upheld in large measure by the Courts of Appeals. The Government filed separate petitions for certiorari, as well as applications to stay the preliminary injunctions entered by the lower courts.

In considering the matter the Supreme Court gave a partial victory to the respondents who had challenged the executive order while at the same time upholding the travel ban and related provisions for certain foreign nationals who cannot demonstrate a sufficient connection to a family member, employer, educational institution or other entity in the United States. Meaning those individuals who can demonstrate the required relationship, the injunctions will be left intact and neither the 90-day travel ban, nor the above-referenced refugee-related provisions will take effect. For those who are not able to prove the required relationship, the 90-day travel ban and the refugee-related provisions will remain in effect.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari and consolidated the two federal court cases from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. It will hear arguments in the consolidated case in the Court’s October, 2017 term.

Click here for the U.S Supreme Court judgement in Trump v International Refugee Assistance Project




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