Supreme Court Allows Trump's Travel Ban to Go Into Full Effect

But legal challenges to the ban are still ongoing.


President Trump

On Monday, the Supreme Court allowed the latest version of President Donald Trump's "travel ban" to go into full effect while two legal challenges to it work their way through the courts.

The latest version of the ban, issued in September, bars most travel from eight separate countries: Iran, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. It was originally supposed to take effect on October 18, but a federal judge blocked it on October 17.

The Supreme Court's decision marks the first time the ban—the first iteration of which was issued in January—will be allowed to be fully implemented.

"We are pleased to have defended this order and heartened that a clear majority [of the] Supreme Court has allowed the President's lawful proclamation protecting our country's national security to go into full effect," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in written statement after the decision.

Two justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, expressed reservations about the decision.

Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, calls the ruling "unfortunate."

"President Trump's anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret—he has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter," Jadwat said in a statement. "We continue to stand for freedom, equality, and for those who are unfairly being separated from their loved ones."

Jadwat's group is leading one of the lawsuits against the travel ban, arguing that the policy amounts to unconstitutional religious discrimination. A similar suit was filed by the State of Hawaii.

The Trump administration has had to continually defend its travel restrictions since it first issued the infamous "Muslim ban" on January 27. That version of the order prohibited travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, even for those with valid U.S. visas. It also put a freeze on the U.S. refugee program, and it banned Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The new policy's rollout was disastrous. Both travelers and immigration officials were confused by the new rules, and mass protests broke out at airports nationwide. A federal judge issued an emergency injunction against the ban one day after Trump signed it.

In March, Trump tried again, issuing a slightly scaled back order that exempted visa holders. The new ban also took Iraq off the list of prohibited countries, and it reduced the hold on Syrian refugee resettlement to 120 days. Multiple states sued over this version as well, and a federal judge temporarily halted its implementation on March 16, setting off a months-long legal battle. In June the Supreme Court allowed a limited version of Trump's travel ban to go into effect, while upholding lower court restrictions on some of its provisions.

Finally, on September 24, Trump scrapped the March version of his travel ban as well, issuing a yet more scaled-back version of the policy. And that brings us to where we are now.

The Supreme Court's decision yesterday did not rule on the merits of either lawsuit, both of which will proceed apace. Hawaii will make its case before a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel Wednesday. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals will consider the American Civil Liberties Union's case this Friday.

Even if this version is ultimately ruled legally sound, that doesn't mean it's good policy. As Reason's Shikha Dalmia wrote in September, the ban is "cheap, cruel, and senseless." The purported reason for it, after all, is to keep Americans safe from terrorism. But as Dalmia explained,

Americans' risk of dying in a terrorist attack perpetrated by a foreigner on U.S. soil is one in 3.6 million per year (and this includes the deaths that took place during the 9/11 attacks, whose massive casualty count is something of an outlier). The chance of being struck by a refugee is even lower. But the real kicker is that migrants from the banned countries have killed precisely zero Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015.

Shutting the door to millions of people without any appreciable security benefit for Americans isn't smart. It's hysterical.

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  1. So they left Chad hanging, huh?

  2. I’m just glad we’re safe now from the very real threat of Venezuelan terrorism.

  3. “Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!”

    1. You may fire when ready!

  4. I’m glad I can finally experience self love again without the fear of Sharia law hanging over my head.

  5. There is no universal right for people to enter any country they want. I’m not allowed to visit Canada because I had a DUI six years ago. Where’s the logic in that? It stinks but it’s their country and they have the right to restrict entry to anyone for any reason. All countries do this, but for some reason it’s a travesty when the U.S. does it.

    1. One big difference: No one wants to go to Canada.

      1. Women do. Look at the immigration statistics. There are NO abortion laws whatsoever in Canada, thanks to the debate sparked by that single LP electoral vote that resulted in Roe v. Wade.

      2. Sometimes we Americans need to go up there on a temporary basis in order to win the Stanley Cup.

        1. Our Canadian are better than theirs.

          1. Actually, we have more than one.

            1. Sure, but there’s only one that matters.

    2. All countries do this, but for some reason it’s a travesty when the U.S. does it.

      The reason is that the US is supposed to be a free country.

      1. “Free country” means wide open borders?

        Hmm… you and I have different notions of what freedom for Americans means.

      2. Free country has no bearing on having completely open borders dildo. That 110% definitely was NOT something the founding fathers ever intended, nor would any sane person. A 1st world country CANNOT exist in the world as it is today with truly open borders. Not to mention that no culture will ever be able to survive truly open borders, even if in the future trading more economically useful people back and forth (instead of illiterate economic drags like most are today) makes it not destroy the economy.

        Personally, I say fuck all these refugees. They’re going to be a drag on the US because they’re mostly uneducated people who will be economically useless, they don’t care about the ideals of America, they just want to have a higher standard of living which everybody gets by default here, and frankly we just don’t need them. If I was from a fucked up country that I actually cared about I wouldn’t be some pussy who ran away either. If any of these people are the good people they’re supposed to be they should grow some balls and kill the assholes ruining their nations.

        We don’t need low education immigrants in the 21st century, they’re just dead weight. We can’t even employ all the native born low IQ/dead weight people, why should we import more? Doctors, engineers, etc should be considered from any country, but no more dish washers are needed.

    3. You really don’t understand why Canada may not want people who got DUIs? Drunk Drivers kill THOUSANDS of people. Whereas, according to the article:

      “But the real kicker is that migrants from the banned countries have killed precisely zero Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015.”

      1. I’d understand if there was a law to keep people convicted of DUIs from driving in their country. But to prohibit them even if they don’t plan to drive at all? It makes no sense. But I’ll respect their restrictions, and expect people from other countries to respect ours.

        1. I’ll abide by their restrictions, but I won’t respect them. Bullshit is bullshit. And the only “rights” nation states have is “might makes right”.

      2. So Saudi Arabia isn’t on the list… or are hijackers not migrants?

      3. I don’t understand the analogy. Are you suggesting Antilles killed people while drunk behind the wheel? Or are you extrapolating the concept of driving drunk with the deaths of thousands of people, in general. If it’s the latter, then you just accidentally made an argument for banning Muslims.

    4. There may not be a universal right, but speaking specifically of the United States, our First Amendment explicitly forbids a travel ban from countries with majority Muslim populations. It’s effectively discriminating based on religion, and comes dangerously close to establishing an official state religion ? both clear 1A violations.

      1. our First Amendment explicitly forbids a travel ban from countries with majority Muslim populations

        FFS, it does not. Even if you used the appropriate word (implicitly, you dumbass), the first amendment does nothing of the sort: it bans the government from adopting a state religion (as was common in Europe at the time of its implementation), keeping people from joining or attending the services a particular church, or proscribing certain beliefs and practices.

        The travel ban is a stupid policy that is entirely legal.

      2. islam is no more a religion than nazism or the klan. It’s a toxic, hateful ideology and those who embrace its beliefs should not be allowed in the U.S. Other countries prohibit individuals who advocate violence against others. We should do the same.

        1. I’m not sure how any of that makes it not a religion. It’s an ideology and belief system based on documents supposedly directly from God. If that’s not a religion, I don’t know what is.

        2. Some people here think you are bigoted.

          Of course, they are too smug to travel outside of Amurikkka and see by themselves the fantastic treasures of Islam in Saudi Arabia, Iran or Sweden

      3. “Our” 18th Amendment explicitly made light beer a felony. The 16th Amendment of the same vintage nullified the ban on capitation taxes and allows jackbooted minions to tap your phone, rifle your papers and confiscate your property without a why or a wherefore. Financial panics and depressions are the result of prohibitionist looter injections into the Constitution, hangovers from the Progressive era of theoretical (pre-Soviet, pre-Cambodian, pre-Nationalsocialist) socialism.

      4. “First Amendment explicitly forbids a travel ban from countries with majority Muslim populations. It’s effectively discriminating based on religion”

        The initial travel ban gave preferential treatment to Christians over Muslims, which was questionable from a constitutional perspective. However, that verbiage was taken out of the travel ban in the next iteration.

        The travel ban in its present form does not discriminate on the basis of religion.

    5. I didn’t realize that US territories could restrict US citizens from entering

    6. There are no universal rights at all, dollface.

    7. Hi

      Here is the site called Reason

      You came here following a wrong link. Please go back to

  6. I am furious the Supreme Court would be so cowardly. Want to make America less dangerous? The obvious way is enacting common sense gun safety legislation.

    1. Good idea! Nobody wants to sneak into communist Cuba or North Korea…

  7. I’ve never been impressed with the constitutional arguments against restricting travel from certain countries out of security concerns, and I find it irritating when people claim something is unconstitutional because they don’t like it. When people do that in the name of libertarianism, it turns us all into the boy who cried wolf.

    The original order may have been unconstitutional for violating people’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the order taking effect against people who had already been granted visas was a violation of due process, but once those issues were resolved, there’s nothing unconstitutional about using travel policy to protect our rights from foreign threats.

    . . . especially when we know there are immigrants who traveled to these countries to join ISIS, that ISIS has used immigration as a cover to infiltrate European countries, that tens of thousands of former ISIS fighters are now scattering from Iraq and Syria like rats from a sinking ship, etc., etc.

    1. I wouldn’t worry about anyone ever confusing you for a libertarian.

      1. I think the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights.

        I don’t believe that politicians are the ultimate solution to our problems.

        I believe in individual rights and free market capitalism, and I abhor authoritarianism and socialism.

        None of those things require me to think something is unconstitutional just because I don’t like it.

        Do you even claim to be a libertarian?

        What does being a libertarian mean to you?

    2. People waive rights all the time. Suicide-vest mystical berserkers deny everything I define as a right, so I’m OK with that working both ways for the sake of argument and fisticuffs. Besides, pressuring faithful followers of God’s Only Prophet to grant that a right is a moral claim to freedom of action would, besides being heretical, bring shrieks of “cultural appropriation” down on our heads. FAR better to have just a few jets hijacked into skyscrapers, no?

      1. It’s about the government adhering to the Constitution.

        The travel ban in its current form does that.

        The travel ban doesn’t violate the First, Fourth, or Fourteenth Amendment.

        Whether the subjects in question are worthy of that protection is another matter. The question is whether the travel ban is violating the Constitution.

        It isn’t.

  8. There are, however, unconstitutional things that can be and probably are being done in the name of this. Take this, for instance:

    “The Department of Immigration & Customs Enforcement is taking new steps in its plans for monitoring the social media accounts of applicants and holders of US visas. At a tech industry conference last Thursday in Arlington, Virginia, ICE officials explained to software providers what they are seeking: algorithms that would assess potential threats posed by visa holders in the United States and conduct ongoing social media surveillance of those deemed high risk.”

    —-Pro Publica

    That’s either unconstitutional or ripe for abuse.

    Remember that time the NSA was only tracking the calls of foreigners?

    Yeah, it turned out to be horseshit.

    How will they sift through the social media posts of immigrants without sifting through the posts of the people they immigrants are responding to and the posts of people who are responding to immigrants?

    The correct answer is not, “they’ll use computers”.

  9. President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret
    if that were true why didn’t he ban them from all countries and not just from countries that can’t verify their own peoples identities

    1. Probably because he didn’t think he could get such a ban past the courts.

  10. So much winning

    1. Just took 10 months, but you got there, babe.

        1. And it’s still being challenged in court.

  11. Day 300 of the temporary 90 day travel ban.

    1. That’s nothing. Wait until Trump gets to completely control immigration and naturalization policy as enumerated in Art. I, Sec. 8 and 9 of the Constitution.

      1. Based on what Congress has enacted as immigration law that is.

    2. He didn’t say which days count among the ninety. The trick is that folks CAN migrate on many days, but we don’t tell them which ones ? so they just assume they’ll choose the wrong one and get stuck at the airport forever! It’s devious, really, like taking the bullet from one gun of the firing squad to create plausible deniability!

  12. Good. I’m not actually that concerned about terrorism, but we don’t need to be letting in all these sketchy ass people with low/no job skills, even if they don’t go all jihad on our asses. We need to reform legal immigration to stop chain migration and only allow in people with useful 21st century job skills at the least. As far as tourists and whatever… Oh well. We’ll lose a few bucks, but it isn’t enough to matter in the grand scheme of things.

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