High court OKs Trump’s travel ban, rejects Muslim bias claim

High court OKs Trump’s travel ban, rejects Muslim bias claim, by Mark Sherman.

A sharply divided Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries Tuesday, the conservative majority taking his side in a major ruling supporting his presidential power. A dissenting liberal justice said the court was making a historic mistake by refusing to recognize the ban discriminates against Muslims.

The 5-4 decision was a big victory for Trump in the court’s first substantive ruling on one of his administration’s policies. …

The ruling came on an issue that has been central for Trump, from his campaign outbursts against “radical Islamic terrorism” through his presidency. He tweeted a quick reaction — “Wow!” — and then celebrated at greater length before TV cameras. …

Roberts wrote that the travel ban was well within U.S. presidents’ considerable authority over immigration and responsibility for keeping the nation safe. He rejected the challengers’ claim of anti-Muslim bias that rested in large part on Trump’s own tweets and statements over the past three years.

But Roberts was careful not to endorse either Trump’s statements about immigration in general or Muslims in particular, including his campaign call for “a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” …

The progressives claim that History is on their side. Well, victors write the history books.

In a dissent she summarized aloud in court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, “History will not look kindly on the court’s misguided decision today, nor should it.” …

Sotomayor wrote that based on the evidence in the case “a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus.” …

Who gets to decide who can come in?

The Trump policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries, blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving “its identity-management and information sharing practices,” Trump said in a proclamation.