In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the third version of Trump’s “Muslim ban,” which restricts travel to the United States from people from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad, is lawful. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the majority of the justices, including Thomas, Alito, Kennedy, and Gorsuch.
Donald Trump first called for a sweeping ban, demanding “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in December of 2015 when he was just an awful, racist candidate for the GOP nomination and not and awful, racist 45th president of the United States.
Once in office, the first version of the ban, hastily cobbled together by white nationalists Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, caused chaos for travelers and federal agencies and sparked national outrage and massive protests.
That ban was blocked in part by the courts, citing Trump’s clear discriminatory intent of the ban and even citing some of his tweets in the ruling.
In March 2017 Trump ordered what he called a “watered down, politically correct version” of the ban, but it also failed to pass muster with the judiciary. In September he tried again for a narrower ban, claiming a more rigorous review process. This is the ban the Supreme Court just upheld.
The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, cites the broad statutory power of the president to restrict entry of aliens to the country and notably states that the window dressing justifying the ban is sufficient to overcome the long history of anti-Muslim bigotry that clearly motivated it.
It’s exactly that anti-Muslim motivation that the dissenting justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor cite in their opinions.
The ACLU also tweeted out their disgust with the opinion:
The obtuse reasoning in the ruling essentially gives Trump carte blanche to rule via racist Tweet, so long as his legal flunkies can find some kind of flimsy pretense for his bigoted fiats.
With Neil Gorsuch occupying a Supreme Court seat stolen from President Obama by Mitch McConnell’s unprecedented legislative blockade of Merrick Garland’s appointment, we can expect several more years radical right-wing opinions like this one.
Trump recently called for the suspension of due process for immigrants at the southern border and, given the court’s batsh*t reasoning in this case, it sure seems like they could find a way to be fine with it.
Mitch McConnell, who previously claimed not to support the Muslim ban, gleefully celebrated his heist on Twitter.
For McConnell (or his team), it literally is all about “the win.” Policy and social outcomes seem entirely secondary.
Here he is on the left, gloating about the travel ban decision. Here he is on the right, warning about it pic.twitter.com/XUQ1BQiLOu
— Sam Stein (@samstein) June 26, 2018
Trump took a victory lap as well, and of course included a snide attack on Democrats and the media, because “civility” is so important:
Trump statement on his travel ban victory: “This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country.” pic.twitter.com/h9rJZnou4u
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 26, 2018
Meanwhile the calls for Gorsuch to be removed are growing louder.