The Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security

The Supreme Court has upheld parts of Trump’s travel ban.

The Supreme Court says it will decide the fate of President Trump’s revised travel ban, agreeing to hear arguments over immigration cases that were filed in federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland, and allowing parts of the ban that’s now been on hold since March to take effect.

The case centers on the president’s move to block new visas for travelers from six majority-Muslim countries for 90 days, and to suspend the U.S. refugee program for 120 days. Challengers to the ban said it would harm people who have legitimate reasons to be in the U.S. — including through family ties, work and education.

The justices removed the lower courts’ injunctions against the ban “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” narrowing the scope of two injunctions that had put the ban in limbo.

With today’s Supreme Court order, the travel ban will remain on hold for plaintiffs who challenged the executive order and for anyone who is “similarly situated,” the justices say — in other words, foreign nationals who have relatives in the U.S., or who plan to attend school or work here.Refugees will face similar criteria, with anyone lacking connections in the U.S. denied entry. In its order, the court stated, “the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.”

But the ban has no clear connection to the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security. The ban is not on Islamists, it’s on anyone from a small number of majority-Muslim countries. Islamists who want to commit terrorist acts are a tiny fraction of Muslims, so banning everyone from a random selection of majority-Muslim countries just really does nothing much to provide for the nation’s security. The reality is it might do more to inspire other Islamists to commit terrorist acts here and thus actually harm the nation’s security (and other nations’ security).

I guess the court is arguing from a level up from that, which doesn’t consider particulars but just considers the executive branch as having a largely free hand in protecting the nation’s security – so that it’s inappropriate for the court to inquire into whether Trump’s ban is actually any use or in fact harmful or anything of that kind. I guess the idea is that Trump says this is for security, and that’s a legitimate part of the executive role, so the court doesn’t get to second guess him on the details.

I guess, because otherwise the ruling just seems ridiculous.

The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals focused on federal law. The court found that the president likely exceeded his statutory authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

“The order does not offer a sufficient justification to suspend the entry of more than 180 million people on the basis of nationality,” the 9th Circuit judges wrote. “National security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power.”

The Supreme Court seems to be contradicting that. “If Trump says it’s for national security, that’s his job and we have to take his word for it.”

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