Trump’s travel ban likely to be upheld, justices indicate
The Supreme Court seemed poised Wednesday to uphold President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. by visitors from several Muslim-majority countries, a move that would hand the president a major victory on a controversial signature policy.
In the court’s first full-blown consideration of a Trump order, the conservative justices who make up the court’s majority seemed unwilling to hem in a president who has invoked national security to justify restrictions on who can or cannot step on U.S. soil.
The justices in December allowed the ban to take full effect even as the legal fight over it continued, but Wednesday was the first time they took it up in open court. Trump’s tough stance on immigration was a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, and he rolled out the first version of the ban just a week after taking office, sparking chaos and protests at a number of airports.
The ban’s challengers almost certainly need either Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Anthony Kennedy on their side if the court is to strike down the policy that its opponents have labeled a Muslim ban.
But neither appeared receptive to arguments made by lawyer Neal Katyal, representing the ban’s opponents, that Trump’s rule stems from his campaign pledge to keep Muslims out of the country and is unlike immigration orders issued by any other president.
The room was packed for the court’s final arguments until October, and people waited in line for seats for days. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was in the audience.
Demonstrators protesting the ban filled the area outside the building.