Handing a victory to President Donald Trump, the US Supreme Court on Monday allowed the entry into force of some portions of his travel ban denying entry to refugees and citizens of six Muslim-majority nations.
Trump hailed the decision as a “victory for national security,” but it’s likely to set off a new round of court disputes over anti-terror efforts and religious discrimination.
"Today's unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security," Efe news quoted Trump as saying on Monday. "It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective."
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the Trump administration's appeals of lower court rulings blocking the travel ban. It allowed parts of the travel ban to stand and agreed to hear the case in the fall.
The travel ban had been blocked by two lower courts, which ruled that Trump abused his authority and discriminated against Muslims as a religious minority by issuing the ban by executive order.
However, until it can issue a definitive ruling, the court authorized the Trump administration to deny US entry to people affected by the ban who do not have relatives in the US or who have no previously established plans to work at companies or study at educational institutions in the US.
"My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe. Today's ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation's homeland," Trump said in his statement.
Thus, the decision will allow the 120-day ban on refugees to be implemented, given that those people are fleeing their countries of origin and have no prior relationship with US individuals or institutions.
The other basic portion of Trump's initiative, which will remain partially blocked, will be the prohibition on US entry to citizens of Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Libya, although entry will be allowed for people from those countries who have relatives or job contracts in the US.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a communique that it will provide more details regarding implementation of the ban after consulting with the State and Justice Departments.
After Trump's original January 27 executive order, several states, including Hawaii, sued in federal court and got it blocked, prompting the administration to craft a new order in March that included changes aimed at allowing the measure to pass muster in the courts.
The March 6 executive order, revised from the earlier version that was blocked by courts, called for a 90-day ban on travellers from six countries -- Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.