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Trump Administration Asks SCOTUS to Lift Injunction on Executive Order Restricting Muslim Immigration

— June 4, 2017

Earlier in the week, President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court of the United States to weigh in on a controversial executive order which has been derided by many as a ban on Muslim immigration.

Filed Thursday night, the Justice Department is requesting the high court’s justices to lift an injunction which stops the executive order from taking effect.

The administration and its allies have defended the travel ban on grounds of an executive privilege which allows the president to place restrictions on immigration in the interests of national security.

“We have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that President Trump’s executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the Nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism,” said Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores in a statement. “The President is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States.”

Lower courts have repeatedly ruled against the executive order.

Originally conceived at the beginning of Trump’s term as a shut-out of immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, the travel ban was struck down over concerns of its constitutionality.

The consequences of the executive action were met with outbursts of anger across the country. Stories of immigrant doctors and academics having to cancel trips abroad or finding themselves stranded overseas became commonplace. Working in tandem with the administration, the State Department canceled thousands of approved visas for would-be travelers.

The justices of the Supreme Court in judicial regalia.
The justices of the Supreme Court. Image courtesy of Doug Mills, The New York Times.

The second executive order precluded a sweeping cancelation of visas and also struck Iraq from the list of ‘banned’ countries, following an outcry and furious petitioning from the Republic’s Central Government.

While the latest rendition of the action hasn’t been voided, a lower court in Hawaii placed in injunction on its enforcement, citing concerns over a possible breach of the establishment clause of the Fourth Amendment; that decision was upheld by an appeals court.

Concerned judges hearkened back to Donald Trump’s fierce rhetoric on the campaign trial, which advocated a crackdown on Muslim immigration. He’d similarly proposed prioritizing non-Muslim refugees from conflict zones like Syria and Iraq.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, as well as other Trump administration Justice officials, took issue with the courts’ rulings.

“This Court has never invalidated religion-neutral government action based on speculation about officials’ subjective motivations drawn from campaign-trail statements by a political candidate,” he wrote.

Wall and his colleagues added in the same that the visa suspensions in Trump’s order were “’not a so-called Muslim ban,’ and campaign comments cannot change that basic fact.”


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