TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL. v. HAWAII ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT No. 17–965. Argued April 25, 2018—Decided June 26, 2018
Held: 1. This Court assumes without deciding that plaintiffs’ statutory claims are reviewable, notwithstanding consular no reviewability or any other statutory no reviewability issue. See Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc., 509 U. S. 155. Pp. 8–9. 2. The President has lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under §1182(f) to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States. Pp. 9–24.
Why is the decision important? The decision is important for few reasons:
1. Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that the ban “does not exceed any contextual limit on the President’s authority.” Further, the Court held that The Court held that Section 1182(f) of the INA exudes deference to the President in every clause. This means the Supreme Court found that a President banning indefinitely (as the Court held the ban is constitutional if necessary) all citizens from a particular country is constitutional and within the authority of the executive branch.
2. The decision also held that the ban did not violate the First Amendment by denying freedom of religion to Muslims as the ban, even though the President stated, “Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The Court held that the only prerequisite of Section 1182(f) of the INA is that the “President ‘find’ that the entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.’” the Court was satisfied that the President’s travel ban was based on the finding that denying entry to foreign nationals who could not be vetted with adequate information was in the national interest and that the travel ban is facially neutral toward.
In summary, the US Supreme Court has held that the executive branch has deference on immigration matters if the government can produce reasoning that is not discriminatory, even if there is contrary evidence.
Justice Sotomayor articulated the case for overturning the ban in her dissenting, stating:
“The United States of America is a nation built upon the promise of religious liberty. Our Founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality in the First Amendment. The Court’s decision today fails to safeguard that fundamental principle…”