The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Donald Trump administration’s ban on travellers from several Muslim-majority countries. The court, in a 5-4 ruling, accepted the government’s argument that the ban was within the president’s power to determine national security policy and his authority to “suspend entry of aliens into the United States”, The Guardian reported.
The ban prohibits people from Syria, Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia from travelling to the US. It also imposes limited sanctions against North Korea and Venezuela.
However, Chief Justice John Roberts rebuked President Trump and emphasised the importance of the principle of religious non-discrimination in US history. “The president of the United States possesses an extraordinary power to speak to his fellow citizens and on their behalf,” Roberts said. “Our presidents have frequently used that power to espouse the principles of religious freedom and tolerance on which this nation was founded.”
Roberts said that former President George Bush had upheld the “true faith of Islam” after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and said America is “a great country because we share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth”.
Neal Katyal, the lawyer who argued against the ban, tweeted his disappointment at the Supreme Court ruling. However, he added that Trump “shouldn’t take ruling as approval to continue attacking our constitution. I will always fight it.”
But Trump was overjoyed at the verdict. “SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!” he tweeted immediately after the judgement.