Trump visiting Supreme Court as justices weigh travel ban

Posted June 16, 2017

For the first time since he was elected, President Donald Trump is set to attend the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, presenting a potentially awkward moment as the court weighs what to do about his contentious executive order that attempts to restrict U.S. entry by people from six Muslim-majority countries.

Since the DOJ initially petitioned for Supreme Court review on June 1, Trump has tweeted about the order, the courts, and his disdain for political correctness, confirming the claims of travel-ban challengers that the executive order is religiously motivated and violates constitutional guarantees to freedom of religion. "The judges concluded that the president had failed to make a case that the order was actually necessary to protect national security, saying that was no "'talismanic incantation' that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power". As USA Today reported, the retooling of the order will prevent the Supreme Court from declining to hear the case because parts of the order have already expired.

On June 13, following the ruling from the 9 Circuit, the Supreme Court agreed to a request from Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall for more time to respond and make its case for reinstating the travel ban.

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The San Francisco ruling was the second one by an appeals court refusing to allow the executive order to take effect. The GBTA recently forecast a $1.3 billion loss in overall travel-related expenditures in the US this year due to the ban, as well as other policies like the proposed expanded laptop ban and other political factors like Brexit. A Seattle judge blocked its enforcement nationwide in response to a lawsuit by Washington state - a decision that was unanimously upheld by a different three-judge 9th Circuit panel. The nonprofit group also has challenged other restrictions on campaigns, including state rules seeking to outlaw false statements by candidates. The executive order, in both versions, is a 90-day ban in order for the administration to conduct a review of its vetting procedures from these six predominantly Muslim countries.

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has said that it is waiting to see how the policy will impact agents. The new version, created to better withstand legal scrutiny, named six countries instead of seven - dropping Iraq - and spelled out more of a national security rationale. I'm skeptical of that distinction, but in this case the judges seem to have taken him hyperliterally.