The Supreme Court on Tuesday narrowly upheld the Trump administration’s travel restrictions on citizens of five Muslim-majority countries, handing President Donald Trump a victory in enforcing one of his most controversial policies.
In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the president has the authority under U.S. immigration laws to limit travel from foreign countries on national security grounds, as the Trump administration has argued.
The president "has lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under (Immigration and Nationality Act) to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, delivering the majority opinion.
The court's four liberal justices dissented.
Under the so-called “travel ban,” issued in September after two earlier orders were blocked by courts, citizens of five Muslim countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen – as well as North Koreans and some individuals linked to the Venezuelan government -- are barred from traveling to the United States. (The central African nation of Chad was initially included in the list but was later dropped).
The decision caps off 16 months of fraught court battles between an administration determined to defend the president’s travel order on national security grounds and opponents who decried it as an ideologically driven ban on Muslims.