Supreme Court Permits Trump’s Travel Restrictions to Take Effect

by Andrew C. McCarthy

The Supreme Court has stayed a Hawaii federal district judge’s preliminary injunction that blocked enforcement of President Trump’s revised travel restriction directive. This means the president’s directive will go into effect. The stay was announced in a brief order this afternoon.

The Justice Department is currently appealing the ruling by District Judge Derrick K. Watson, who found the new guidance, like the preceding versions of the so-called travel ban, to be constitutionally infirm. The Ninth Circuit is scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday. A district judge in Maryland, Theodore D. Chuang, has partially blocked Trump’s directive, creating an exemption for aliens who can show they have “bona fide” relationships with U.S. persons or entities – the same exemption the Supreme Court judicially legislated when it allowed a prior version of the travel restrictions to go into effect in June. (See my column on that, here.)

The Supreme Court’s short order allows the president’s travel guidance to go into effect without restrictions. The justices encouraged the Ninth Circuit to follow through on its agreement to consider the appeal on an expedited basis and to “render its decision with appropriate dispatch.”

Two of the Court’s most left-leaning justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, dissented from the order and would have left the preliminary injunction in effect while the case makes its way through the appellate process.

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