The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Trump’s controversial travel ban affecting several mostly Muslim countries, offering a limited endorsement of the president’s executive authority in one of the hardest-fought battles of this term.
The 5-4 ruling marks the first major high court decision on a Trump administration policy. It upholds the selective travel restrictions, which critics called a discriminatory “Muslim ban” but the administration argued was needed for security reasons.
At issue was whether the third and latest version of the administration's policies affecting visitors from five majority Muslim nations – known as travel ban 3.0 -- discriminates on the basis of nationality and religion, in the government's issuance of immigrant visas.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the order was “squarely within the scope of Presidential authority” under federal law.
The ruling comes after the Trump administration seemed to enjoy a favorable reception during arguments in April.
Justice Samuel Alito, during those April arguments, noted that of the 50 or so mostly Muslim majority countries, only five were on the current banned list, or about 8 percent of the population, he said.