Supreme Court Allows Part of Trump Travel Ban to Take Effect Before Ruling on Constitutionality


AMY GOODMAN: The U.S. Supreme Court has announced
it will allow for the partial implementation of President Trump’s temporary ban on travelers
from six Muslim-majority countries while the court examines the constitutionality of the
order. Trump’s executive order called for a 90-day
ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on
all refugees. In an unsigned decision, the court said the
ban could be enforced for any foreigner who lacks a credible claim of a bona fide relationship
with a person or entity in the United States. The court is expected to hear oral arguments
in the case in October. Three justices—Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito
and Neil Gorsuch—issued a separate ruling supporting the full implementation of the
travel ban. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer praised
the court’s decision. PRESS SECRETARY SEAN SPICER: With respect
to the Supreme Court decision on the president’s executive order, the president was honored
by the 9-0 decision that allows him to use an important tool to protect our nation’s
homeland. His number one responsibility as commander-in-chief
is to keep the American people safe, and that’s exactly what this executive order does. AMY GOODMAN: The ACLU’s Omar Jadwat said
the court’s decision should not be viewed as a victory for the Trump administration. OMAR JADWAT: The implication on the ground
is actually not as severe, I think, as it might at first appear, because the number
of people who will be affected by this narrower version of the ban is much smaller. And, you know, I think it’s a complete mischaracterization
to say that this is in some way a victory for the administration. What they’re being allowed to move forward
with here is really, you know, the smallest sliver, the kind of faintest shadow, of what
they originally set out to accomplish. AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about this ruling,
as well as another and the speculation that Anthony Kennedy could step down at a certain
point—but we’ll get to that in a bit—we’re joined by two guests. Dahlia Lithwick is with us, senior editor
at Slate.com. She’s their senior legal correspondent and
Supreme Court reporter. She’s joining us from Toronto today. And here in New York, Vince Warren is with
us, executive director for the Center for Constitutional Rights. Vince, let’s begin with you. Your response to the Supreme Court? VINCENT WARREN: Well, I think that Omar Jadwat
had it right. This is not the win that the administration
says that it is. Although it’s troubling and problematic
from the perspective of justice, when you think about where those executive orders started
and what we’re looking at now, which is essentially—it is actually a watered-down
version of what the administration started before—it’s really not that much of a
win. Having said that, it’s deeply troubling,
I think, for the administration and the court to be able to carve off slivers of refugees
and carve off slivers of people from these six countries, based on no national security
justification, and say that they’re not going to be allowed into the country until
the government figures out what it’s doing. It’s still a—it still violates the Constitution,
and it’s still a ban on religion, and it’s racist, basically. AMY GOODMAN: So, Dahlia Lithwick, can you
first respond to the decision? And then explain what it actually will do. DAHLIA LITHWICK: Yeah, I mean, I think what
Vince says is really important. This was not a decision on the merits. And so, when you hear, you know, the attorney
general or the Trump administration saying, you know, “We’ve been vindicated. The president has this broad latitude to set
national security policy,” there’s actually almost nothing in the written order that we
saw this week suggesting that. There is certainly a flick in the order that
says, yes, you know, the president has a compelling interest in preserving national security. This was a decision about a stay. This was really a technical decision about
the likelihood that the administration will succeed on the merits when this case is heard
in October. So that’s important. This is a really technical ruling. It’s not a constitutional ruling. And I think Vince is quite right that if you
slice and dice who is swept in and who is swept out under this new iteration of the
second iteration of the order, it doesn’t affect nearly as many folks as I think the
administration was trying to keep out. But I do think that, really, now what’s
going to happen is that DHS and the State Department are going to have to create some
meaning. They’re going to have to explain to us what
it means to have a bona fide connection to an American. They’re going to set some policies and guidelines,
and they’ll try to enforce it. And the courts are going to push back. So, really, in a sense, this raises more questions
than it answers, Amy, in terms of who exactly is in and who exactly is out. But we’ll find out over the summer. And the courts are going to continue, I think,
to say, well, you know, yes, no, maybe, until the Supreme Court makes a final determination
on the constitutional and statutory questions that underlie this whole litigation. AMY GOODMAN: In an official White House statement,
Trump applauded the Supreme Court’s action as, quote, “a clear victory for our national
security.” He wrote, quote, “As President, I cannot allow
people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States
and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.” Trump also tweeted, quote, “Very grateful
for the 9-0 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. We must keep America SAFE!” VINCENT WARREN: Yeah, you know, I’m getting
used to the Trump accolades that make things up out of whole cloth. I mean, this was—it’s not clear that this
was a 9-0 decision. It was a decision on behalf of the entire
Supreme Court. Also, I mean, let’s break down what he’s
talking about. Everybody wants to keep people out of the
country who want to do us harm. What this—what we’re arguing in these
cases, though, is that the government has made no showing that the people that they’re
trying to keep out of the country are actually trying to do us harm. And this decision almost—technical decision,
as Dahlia points out, almost makes it worse, that the only criteria that we have now is
that the people that are not going to be allowed into the country are people that don’t have
a familial relationship, don’t have an offer from a school to come here, and don’t have
a job. But that keeps people out who are tourists. That keeps out school groups. That keeps out refugees who have relationships
potentially with nonprofit organizations to be resettled here after fleeing all sorts
of conflict. These are not people that are trying to do
us harm. These are people that are largely fleeing
harm or wanted to come visit this country to see what we’re doing here. It’s nothing to do with national security
or terrorism. So, it’s just a—it’s the usual Trumpism
that we’ve just gotten used to in this country. AMY GOODMAN: On Monday, White House Press
Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the court ruling. REPORTER: I wanted to ask you about the Supreme
Court decision today. They—they said that anybody that has a bona
fide relationship with another person or another entity is still permitted. So, in a way, it limited the initial—or,
the second executive order. So I’m curious if the administration feels
that what is now permitted by the Supreme Court does indeed protect the homeland. PRESS SECRETARY SEAN SPICER: Well, again,
I think it’s a positive step forward. As I mentioned at the outset, the Department
of Justice, in particular, is reviewing this, in terms of both its implementation and its
impact. So I don’t want to get too far ahead of
all of these brilliant legal minds as they review the impact. But I think—as I noted, I think the president
feels—he’s very, very pleased with the 9-0 decision. AMY GOODMAN: So, Dahlia Lithwick, if you could
respond to that and also the fact that three justices—Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and
the newest justice, Neil Gorsuch—issued a separate ruling supporting the full implementation
of the travel ban now? DAHLIA LITHWICK: Yeah, I think that’s really
crucial. I think if you listen to Sean Spicer, it sounds
as though he’s saying that those three justices spoke for the entire court. And in Justice Thomas’s statement, in his
portion of this, he makes it sound as though, oh, you know, it’s clear that Trump is going
to win on the merits. But it’s important, Amy, to understand,
only three justices felt that way. That means that there are six other justices
not willing to go that far. And I think when you look at the per curiam,
the order itself, it’s fairly clear to me that this is a John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy,
plus the liberal justices, trying to foster some kind of compromise, where they say, “We’re
going to give you a little something. We’re going to take away something. We’re going to put the whole thing on pause
while we wait to see what happens in October.” And I think the other thing that’s really
worth flagging is that there’s a poison pill built into this litigation. There is this 90-day period in which this
assessment needs to happen. That 90 days starts this Thursday. That means by the time the court hears this
case in October, it may well, very well, be moot. And it’s worth flagging, as well, that the
court, in its own decision, says, “You have to brief this mootness issue. You have to persuade us in October that the
time frame of this case makes the entire thing go away.” So I really think it’s worth saying that
this is changing so quickly, and that by the time the court actually hears argument on
this, there may not be much left to litigate. AMY GOODMAN: You know, the October date, when
they’re going to hear the whole case, this comes after Trump’s executive order that
called for a 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. I think that runs out in the last few days
of September. So, the Trump administration did not ask for
this to be expedited, like to have the Supreme Court convene in July or something on this. So, by the time they’re ruling on this,
this will have run out, Dahlia. DAHLIA LITHWICK: Yeah, that’s exactly correct. I mean, and as I say, I think that the fact
that the court wants the parties to brief that—they expressly said, “You better figure
out a way that this whole thing is still live in October”—suggests to me that there are
at least six justices who are pretty sympathetic to the notion that this may be over before
it even begins in the court. And again, I think it’s really, really interesting
that as the new guidelines come out and as DHS and the State Department try to figure
out what this nexus is between travelers and American citizens, and whether the burden
of proof is on the person seeking to visit or on the government—we don’t know any
of that—there will be new litigation that is immediately filed over the course of the
summer, and that, too, becomes a kind of tick-tock of how relevant these underlying issues in
this travel ban really are. So, really, I think what the Supreme Court
was doing—and I think it’s part of why you hear both sides saying it’s either a
really big deal or a really tiny deal—is kicking it back to Trump and to the courts
and saying, “We’re going to give you yet another bite at this apple, but you better
impress us come October.” AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go to a break. Then we’re going to come back to other decisions
that have been made by the Supreme Court, particularly the issue of the church and the
playground—that’s coming up—and also the speculation around Justice Kennedy possibly
stepping down and what that could mean. We’re talking to Vince Warren, executive
director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor
at Slate.com. She’s their senior legal correspondent and
Supreme Court reporter. We’ll be back in a minute.

29 Responses

  1. patricia harden says:

  2. Denise 1 says:

    good for the president

  3. Mama Mimi says:

    ….before ruling on condtitutionality. Why am I not surprised?

  4. Uncle Torino says:

    9-0 decision. Great job Supreme Court! Thank you. MAGA!! #Winning

  5. ASARULUDU BANMASKIM says:

    Yeheeeeeee and now shut this FAKE NEWS CHANEL

  6. Matthew Hamburger says:

    They simply approved it with one exception…this is clearly a win.

    They're giving him the full 120 days before they hear the case.

  7. Mareepu says:

    … So the ban is allowed, save for a condition here or there.

    No. This was a win for the administration.

    Wow. What a disaster.

  8. Truth Teller says:

    Of course US court will give approval. They are in the same boat.

  9. Respect/Walk says:

    Another accomplishment from trump but libs swear he has got nothing done

  10. Dennis The HiRev says:

    How much are Supreme Courts going for these days? Did G.O.D. [Great Orange Dictator] use taxpayer money to buy the SCOTUS? MAGA Morons Are Governing America!!!!

  11. Vegans VoteProgressive says:

    This ban will prove that our home grown terrorists are worse than any other threat we face!

  12. sanjuansteve says:

    This is just the 1st, dialed-back step. American Republicans are fighting to ban ALL Muslims from entry (or re-entry) indefinitely, do special surveillance, force registries, do "pre-arrests", etc as soon as We The People (of the world…) allow them to do it all. Banning an entire religion of 1/5th of the people from all over the planet is the definition of blanketed fear, hate and inequality. #theyvotedforaBigot #FearIsTheProblem

  13. Adam Majkowski says:

    Make Cuba A STATE !!! Join up.

  14. Adam Majkowski says:

    Make Somalia a STATE ! Join up, bro.

  15. Jhinn Efreet says:

    Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together knows. . .this is a preemptive act heralding the true motive: an act of aggression to those areas by the US "Government".

    Trumptard's say: WIN!!!

    Realist's: Time to stock up for another war.

  16. The devil made me do it says:

    Flood the country with mindless chattel we're running a little short here

  17. InsightONE says:

    Why don't you democracy now reporters offer solutions and not just criticisms. I dont think that all people want to ban people, but what do you do when there is a clear invasion by muslim brotherhood and push for Sharia Law.. but the concerns are russian allegations..

  18. The Walking Progressive says:

    Jays a troll ha!!!!

  19. ac1dP1nk says:

    we don't know if it's constitutional or not so we won't enforce all of the president's order…

  20. Dhar Dhir Druha says:

    Finally someone who knows how to do work and how to fulfil his promise… Love you President Trump from INDIA

  21. BetweenFireAndFire says:

    "Sancturary for all…
    …community for all. Those who arrive survive" (or not, because 'murica)

  22. K Hu says:

    Notice the inverted pentagrams behind Drumpf? Very interesting…

  23. Tom Rukos says:

    Democracy Now is a channel for Democrat pedophiles such as Podesta and Clinton Company.

  24. N Seaboy Aguilar says:

    lol "if you listen to spicer"

    dont listen to spicer. hes an idiot.. lol

  25. tremer 2009 says:

    Thanks, Democracy Now!:) ACLU: "What they're being allowed to move forward with here is really, you know, the Smallest Sliver, the kind of Faintest Shadow, of what they originally set out to accomplish.":D

  26. Dragon1717 says:

    Good start. Violent radical Islamic fundamentalist throwbacks who still think and act like we're living in the 7th century do not belong in the US or the West.

  27. The Shape says:

    White people finally woke up! The mentally ill libtards, sjws, and democraps caused it.. thanks for acting like mentally ill animals and calling us racists. You all caused white people to wake up.

  28. sanjuansteve says:

    I think most people that are afraid Muslims and support Drumpf and the GOP ban of Muslims, have never even met a Muslim (to their knowledge) in their life! #FearIsIgnorance! #SomosUno #TravelIsFatalToBigotry

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