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Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban, Rejects Discrimination Claim

Visitors depart the Supreme Court early Monday, June 25, 2018.
Associated Press
Visitors depart the Supreme Court early Monday, June 25, 2018.
Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban, Rejects Discrimination Claim
SCOTUS Upholds Travel Ban, Sends California Clinic Law Back To Lower Court GUEST: Dan Eaton, partner, Seltzer, Caplan, McMahon, Vitek

>>Our top story on Midday Edition, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump's travel ban, does the court have a deeper implication of the presidential authority. Five members of the court led by John Roberts chief justice says the president's revised band against travelers from seven mostly Muslim majority countries is within the scope of his authority. They dismiss statements made by candidate Donald Trump against Muslims deciding that those statements were not legally determinative of the presidents intent to discriminate. Joining me is legal analyst Dan Eaton. Welcome. This was a third version of the presidents travel man. It restricted entry into the United States from citizens of Iran, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, and Venezuela. Has the length of the ban expired by now ? speaking this one was subject to an indefinite period of time, subject to review every 180 days. The president has done that. This ban was in effect. It was enjoined subject to the -- the court did when it agreed to review of this case. >>> One of the amount -- arguments was the president did not have the authority to ban into the U.S.? >> That was the problem of the statute itself. The statute was the immigration and nationality act of 1952. Provides a broad grant of authority that they focus on on section 1182 F which says whatever the president finds that the entry of any alias of any class of aliens or any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States he may in proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary impose an entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. That is what 1182 says. They said in challenging it this went too far. He did not give enough reasons as to what was behind it. And a flat nationality restriction at least as to the issue of visas are barred by a separate part of the act. The Supreme Court said none of those arguments matter. We disagree with them. The president has a grant of authority. And the slightest iteration of the immigration ban stands. >>> Does this ruling clear up any ambiguity at the presidents powers in this matter ? speaking hope >> It does because it gives the president extensive power. It says 1180 2F requires him to articulate this and to articulate the class of people but does not require much more. It does not require a kind of detailed rationale in any way. This was a very detailed 12 page order that the president issued to get him to require him to go beyond that and say more about what is behind this. It is not under the statutes brought grant of authority. >>> A lot of people pointed to candidate trumps remarks about Manning immigrants from entering into the U.S. and finding the travel ban discriminatory why didn't the Supreme Court do the same? >> The Supreme Court did not believe the religious comments were necessarily important to this analysis. The reason for that is because of the broad grant of authority, the broad grant of authority under 1180 2F gives the president to the power to do this. More importantly what happened in this case was that this particular ban was subject to a multi- level cabinet review. A lot of different cabinet agencies weighed in because that separated because of the national security justification and what was said about religion and what President Donald Trump and candid -- candidate trumps said about religion and it was read neutral with respect to religion. This particular ban only applies to a % of Muslim countries. It was a Muslim ban and effective Muslim ban. Bottom line is the neutral order that was consistent with the president broad grant of authority under this act passed muster and therefore it will go into effect. >>> I do not want to leave the subject until we talk about the dissent written by soda Mayor that likened the Supreme Court ruling to the one in 1944 that justify Japanese internment camps. >> It was powerful. It was said that just the soda Mayor read part of her dissent by the pension said that without an audience you could not capture the fury. When you look at it she says this is a fundamental principle. This court is violating it. She says there are similarities to court must serve which the majority dismissed and said we are not talking about interning citizens. Let's keep this in perspective. Just the soda Mayor said that the windowdressing of national security cannot conceal the fact that what was motivating this was animus towards Islam and quoted at some length Kennedy and -- candidate and Trump and his advisers about what may have motivated the establishment of this proclamation. >>>'s move onto another 5-4 decision. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with opponents of a California law that requires Perloff -- pro-life pregnancy centers to be clear about the services they provide. California's reproductive fact act with quire CNC abortion clinics to display written notices about abortion access and to disclose the patients if they were not licensed to provide medical care. The Supreme Court ruled the law was probably in violation of the First Amendment. Once again legal analyst Dan Eaton is here to explain. What does this ruling mean that the law probably violates First Amendment rights. >> We have to draw connection to the Trump case. Both cases draw preliminary injunctions that only requires the person challenging the law to bring merit. In the Trump case it said that with the likelihood they were going to win in challenging the immigration ban. Here they said that was a likelihood they will. Both cases will prevail. Both cases they sent the skate desk decisions back to the Ninth Circuit for further review to determine whether they actually do it. The Supreme Court left no doubt about its bottom line. Clearly, with respect to the fact, they believe that the notice requirements are an unconstitutional burden on First Amendment rights by requiring licensed and unlicensed clinics to go to for speech. That is why the court reached the result it did. >>> What was the problem that the states reproductive fact act was trying to address it what did it require the antiabortion clinics to do. >> The fact act was regarding for license practice centers saying that there are low-cost alternatives and that abortion was also available. These pro-life centers are antiabortion. With respect unlicensed enters the fact that requires them to say prominently in any criminal occasions written or oral that they were in fact unlicensed to protect people from unwittingly going to the centers not knowing they were license or not. Justice Thomas and his majority opinion said this is too much of a burden. You're forcing these people for no real justification that we can see connected to the burdens you are putting on them to engage in the speech. That is not allowed under the First Amendment for vesicle free speech. >>> Could this ruling have effects beyond the borders of California. Are there other states that have laws with disclosure ? >> Time did not allow me to determine that. If there are such states that have these kinds of laws, those laws are also going to come under strong scrutiny. They will likely be struck down as well. >>> I have been speaking with legal analyst Dan Eaton. Thank you, Dan. >> Thank you, Maureen.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump's ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.

The 5-4 decision Tuesday is the court's first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy, and the president quickly tweeted his reaction: "Wow!"

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.


Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. He also rejected the challengers' claim of anti-Muslim bias.

But he was careful not to endorse either Trump's provocative statements about immigration in general or Muslims in particular.

"We express no view on the soundness of the policy," Roberts wrote.

The travel ban has been fully in place since December, when the justices put the brakes on lower court rulings that had ruled the policy out of bounds and blocked part of it from being enforced.

In a dissent she summarized in court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, "History will not look kindly on the court's misguided decision today, nor should it."


Sotomayor wrote that based on the evidence in the case "a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus." She said her colleagues in the majority arrived at the opposite result by "ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens."

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan also dissented.

The policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries, blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving "its identity-management and information sharing practices," Trump said in a proclamation.

The administration had pointed to the Chad decision to show that the restrictions are premised only on national security concerns.

The challengers, though, argued that the court could not just ignore all that has happened, beginning with Trump's campaign tweets to prevent the entry of Muslims into the United States.

The travel ban has long been central to Trump's presidency.

He proposed a broad, all-encompassing Muslim ban during the presidential campaign in 2015, drawing swift rebukes from Republicans as well as Democrats. And within a week of taking office, the first travel ban was announced with little notice, sparking chaos at airports and protests across the nation.

While the ban has changed shape since then, it has remained a key part of Trump's "America First" vision, with the president believing that the restriction, taken in tandem with his promised wall at the southern border, would make the Unites States safer from potentially hostile foreigners.

Critics said the changes didn't erase the ban's legal problems, and lower courts largely agreed.

The current version dates from last September and it followed what the administration has called a thorough review by several federal agencies, although no such review has been shared with courts or the public.

Federal trial judges in Hawaii and Maryland had blocked the travel ban from taking effect, finding that the new version looked too much like its predecessors. Those rulings that were largely upheld by federal appeals courts in Richmond, Virginia, and San Francisco.

But the Supreme Court came to a different conclusion Tuesday. The policy has "a legitimate grounding in national security concerns," and it has several moderating features, including a waiver program that would allow some people from the affected countries to enter the U.S., Roberts said. The administration has said that 809 people have received waivers since the ban took full effect in December.

Roberts wrote that presidents have frequently used their power to talk to the nation "to espouse the principles of religious freedom and tolerance on which this Nation was founded." But he added that presidents and the country have not always lived up "to those inspiring words."

The challengers to the ban asserted that Trump's statements crossed a constitutional line, Roberts said.

"But the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements. It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility," he said