Law & the Courts

The Corner

Thanks to SCOTUS, the Trump Travel Ban Controversy Is Ending With a Constitutionally-Righteous Whimper

Though it wasn’t widely-covered, the Trump administration yesterday won another modest victory at the Supreme Court. SCOTUS held that the administration could block entry of about 24,000 refugees on the grounds that they didn’t have the necessary ”bona fide” connection with persons or entities in the United States. Here’s the Washington Post with details:

The current case grows out of a Supreme Court decision in June that approved a limited version of a presidential order that temporarily blocked refugees and citizens of six majority-Muslim countries.

The justices said Trump could impose a limited version of the measure, but not on a person with a “bona fide” connection to the United States, such as having family members here, a job offer or a place in a U.S. university.

In two unsigned rulings, the Court has restored the vast majority of the Trump administration executive order, and now the clock may well run out before SCOTUS reaches a final decision on the merits:

Time is beginning to become a factor in the broader fight over Trump’s entry ban. The measure was supposed to have been temporary — lasting 90 days for citizens of the six affected countries, and 120 days for refugees. If the measure is considered to have taken effect when the Supreme Court allowed partial implementation, the 90 days will have passed by the time the justices hear arguments Oct. 10, and the 120 days are very likely to have passed by the time they issue a decision.

In other words, the most contentious controversy of the first weeks of the Trump administration may well end not with a bang, but with a constitutionally-appropriate whimper. Indeed, the intensity of the initial controversy was related to two factors no longer present: The Left was spoiling for an early-administration, tone-setting showdown, and the Trump administration obliged — implementing the initial order in the most incompetent and malicious manner possible. 

As things now stand, the Supreme Court has rebuked the judicial #resistance, maintained the proper constitutional and statutory order, and done so in a low-key, unified manner. That’s good news for the Constitution, and it’s good news for the body politic. Let’s hope it lasts until the case is closed. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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