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Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Travel Ban Case

26 April 2018, 12:37 | Myrtle Vega

Jose Luis Magana — The Associated Press file

Jose Luis Magana — The Associated Press file

"After over an hour of debate, a majority of the court (and perhaps even a solid one) appeared ready to rule for the government and uphold the order in response to concerns about second-guessing the president on national-security issues", Howe wrote.

Despite Francisco's confident flub, an argument analysis from Supreme Court reporter Amy Howe asserted that the travel ban seems likely to be found constitutional by the Supreme Court. The justices urge those courts to render decisions "with appropriate dispatch".

Though President Donald Trump did issue a call on the campaign trail for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, Francisco said such comments should not be considered because Trump was a private citizen when he made them, and because the order is the result of lengthy consultation among a group of government officials who have sworn to uphold the Constitution. The government must continue accepting new applications for the program, The New York Times reported.

"You want the president to say, "I'm convinced in six months we'll have a safe world"?"

Mr. Francisco told the justices Congress has granted the president broad powers to block entry of anyone he deems a threat. In March, 2017, after the second travel-ban order got into trouble, the President said, "I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place".

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December 4: The Supreme Court rules that the ban can take full effect while legal challenges continue in federal appeals courts.

Catholic Church leaders have expressed their objection to the travel ban. There are other justifications that jump out as to why these particular countries were put on - on the list.

The policy prohibits entry into the United States of most people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Venezuela and North Korea also were targeted in the travel ban. Two previous versions were temporary. Sanders says if the ban were eliminated, "the United States may be forced to unsuspectingly allow risky criminals or terrorists into the country". 'It hurts me because it is singling out and demeaning Muslims due to their faith'.

Is It A 'Flat Nationality Ban?'

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But Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a member of the court's liberal wing, noted that Congress has already set limits on immigration to address security concerns about nationals from countries that support terrorism.

Sotomayor said she was unimpressed with the claim that the travel ban came from a multi-agency review and not exclusively from the president. How did the question intersect with the current debate about Presidential war powers? Justice Sotomayor asked, what gives the president the authority to do more than what Congress has said is adequate? The travel ban takes an "iron wrecking ball to the statute".

"Suppose you have a local mayor and, as a candidate, he makes vituperative hateful statements, he's elected, and on day two, he takes acts that are consistent with those hateful statements", Kennedy said to Francisco. Katyal agreed, but argued that the travel ban was never presented as a response to an emergency, but rather a solution to a decades-old, ongoing problem of poor information sharing between certain countries and the United States.

The travel-ban argument will be the last of the term.

Nevertheless, Trump's case could be bolstered by the lifting of the ban on travelers from Chad on April 10.

"We've always been very sensitive about nation of origin discrimination", Chin said.

The president's lawyer argued that campaign statements are a matter of free speech and not relevant in judging a president's decisions in office.

One in five residents is an immigrant and many more are direct descendants of people who were the first in their families to move to the country, including Chin himself, whose parents came to the US from China in 1958. "That indicates there'll be a reassessment and the president has continuing discretion", Kennedy said. "This is an out-of-the-box kind of president in my hypothetical", she said, to laughter.

Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono also was in attendance during Wednesday's argument.

In court briefs, Katyal relied on a "litany" of statements that Trump made during the campaign and afterward concerning a restriction of Muslims entering the United States and notes that even though the current proclamation was crafted after a review of the entry policies of other governments, it is a "direct descendant of previous bans" covering numerous same countries.

Hirono is an immigrant who came to the US from Japan as a child.

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