The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear the Trump administration’s challenge of rulings blocking his executive order restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries.
The top U.S. court will allow enforcement of parts of the “travel ban” while the case moves forward. Justices will hear arguments on the case in the fall.
Trump has argued that the measure, a key campaign plank and one of the most divisive moves of his young presidency, is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks in the U.S. Critics and some federal court rulings have argued that it targets immigrants based on religion, after Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S. as a candidate.
The March 6 executive order, revised from an earlier version that was blocked by courts, called for a 90-day ban on travelers from six countries — Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also pushed for a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the United States.
The court ruled Monday that the order can take effect except for people who “lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” It said the same for the refugee provision.
Three justices — including Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch — said they would have let the executive order go into effect in full.
Trump has publicly argued for his executive order and against prior court rulings, sometimes to his own detriment. A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion this month upholding a ruling blocking the order cited one of Trump’s tweets in which he said that we “need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries.”
Earlier this month, Trump argued that “we need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
He later contended that the Justice Department “should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct” version that the Supreme Court will hear.
— Reuters contributed to this report