The Court ruled
that President Trump has the authority on national security grounds to restrict
travel into the U.S. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion for the majority
consisting of Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kennedy, Thomas and himself with
Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor dissenting.
Trump put the current travel restrictions in place on 24 September 2017,
through a Presidential proclamation. The last executive action was the result
of lawsuits brought against two previous executive orders implementing the
On 26 June 2018,
the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unsigned order to allow the implementation of
parts of the second Executive Order. Based on the facts of the case, the Court
formed a distinction between nationals who have “a bona fide relationship with
a person or entity in the United States” and all other foreign nationals. The
Court upheld the suspension of the ban for foreign nationals who have such a
relationship including individuals employed by a company in the U.S.
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were brought against the proclamation of 24 September 2017 and on 13 November 2017,
the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the latest
Presidential action could partially take effect. The Court closely followed the
ruling of a U.S. District Court judge in Maryland blocking implementation of
the suspension as it relates to nationals with “bona fide” connections to
entities or individuals in the U.S.
On 4 December
2017, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the rulings of the lower courts and allowed
the full travel restrictions to take effect while the courts considered the
legality of the executive action.
The final travel
restrictions will apply to those foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, North
Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen as well as government officials from Venezuela.