US top court upholds Donald Trump's travel ban

Jun 27, 2018, 07:24 IST | Agencies

Ban prevents people from several mostly Muslim nations from entering the US; court rejects discrimination claim

US top court upholds Donald Trump's travel ban
The travel ban has been criticised by human rights groups. Pic/AFP

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld President Donald Trump's ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.

The 5-4 decision yesterday is the court's first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.

Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. He also rejected the challengers' claim of anti-Muslim bias. But he was careful not to endorse either Trump's provocative statements about immigration in general and Muslims in particular. "We express no view on the soundness of the policy," Roberts wrote.

The travel ban has been fully in place since the court declined to block it in December. The justices allowed the policy to take full effect even as the court fight continued and lower courts had ruled it out of bounds.

The travel ban
The policy applies to travellers from five nations with Muslim populations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries: blocking travellers from North Korea and some Venezuelan officials. Chad was removed from the list in April after improving "its identity-management and information sharing practices," Trump said.

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