US top court partially lifts block on Trump travel ban

Supreme court agrees to hear arguments on legality of controversial order in the fall after lifting significant elements of lower court orders to block ban

The action is a victory for Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency. Pics/AFP/AP
The action is a victory for Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency. Pics/AFP/AP

The US Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Donald Trump by allowing his temporary bans on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees to go into effect for people with no connection to the United States while agreeing to hear his appeals in the closely watched legal fight.

The court, which narrowed the scope of lower court rulings that had completely blocked his March 6 executive order, said it would hear arguments on the legality of one of Trump's signature policies in his first months as president in the court's next term, which starts in October.

The justices granted parts of his administration's emergency request to put the order into effect immediately while the legal battle continues. The court said that the travel ban will go into effect "with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

The Supreme Court left the lower-court injunctions against the ban in place, but only with respect to the challengers to the ban themselves and others in similar circumstances, meaning they involve people in US who have relationships with foreign nationals and whose rights might be affected if those foreigners were excluded from entry.

But, the court said the injunctions were too broad to also include barring enforcement of the ban against foreigners who have no connection to US.

The March 6 order called for a 90-day ban on travellers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees entering US to enable the government to implement stronger vetting procedures.

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