In a 5-4 split, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the controversial travel ban ordered last September by President Donald Trump, ruling that the restriction on immigration from several countries “is squarely within the scope of Presidential authority under the” Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The decision was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts in the case Trump v. Hawaii.
This was a huge win for the president, who has been under constant attack from the left on a variety of issues almost since taking the oath of office in January 2017.
The travel ban, noted CNBC, “affects people from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Chad was dropped from the list of affected countries in April.” The president’s order has been widely blasted as a “Muslim ban” by critics.
“The Proclamation is squarely within the scope of Presidential authority under the INA. Indeed, neither dissent even attempts any serious argument to the contrary, despite the fact that plaintiffs’ primary contention below and in their briefing before this Court was that the Proclamation violated the statute.”—Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion, Trump v. Hawaii, page 24
The ruling, according to the Seattle Times, has angered immigrant rights activists. It might also be a setback for Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who successfully challenged an earlier travel ban. Many believe he has his sights set on a run for Evergreen State governor in 2020.
Ferguson has been something of a thorn in the administration’s side. He has filed several lawsuits against the administration, and last September, according to a press release from his office at the time, he “asked a federal judge to block President Donald Trump’s latest version of his travel ban. This version would create an indefinite ban on travel by millions of people, including many with close ties to Washington.”
He sought a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and was joined in that effort by California and Oregon, plus Maryland, Massachusetts and New York.
“We defeated President Trump’s first travel ban,” Ferguson said at the time. “This one is also unlawful, and it is hurting families, businesses and universities in our state. I will continue to hold the President accountable to the rule of law.”
“By its plain language, §1182(f) grants the President broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States. The President lawfully exercised that discretion based on his findings—following a worldwide, multi-agency review—that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest. And plaintiffs’ attempts to identify a conflict with other provisions in the INA, and their appeal to the statute’s purposes and legislative history, fail to overcome the clear statutory language.”—Majority ruling, page 10
In addition to the string of legal actions, Ferguson has also miffed Washington State gun owners by supporting earlier this year a gun control initiative aimed at preventing young adults from purchasing so-called “assault weapons.” The measure would also, according to critics, classify such popular smallbore semi-auto rifles as the Ruger 10/22 and Marlin Model 60 – both chambered for .22-caliber rimfire ammunition – as “assault rifles.”
It is traditional for the high court to hold its most controversial rulings until the last days of the session. It was ten years ago to the day that the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Dick Anthony Heller which affirmed that the amendment protects a fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms that extends beyond service in a militia.
Thursday, June 28, is the eighth anniversary of an equally important case, McDonald v. City of Chicago. That ruling nullified Chicago’s handgun ban and incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. That case was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association.