This is a huge victory for Trump on stay application, Court to hear full case in October.
[BREAKING – This post has been updated multiple times]
In a per curiam Order (full embed at bottom of post), the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Trump Travel Order cases, and also substantially lifted the injunctions, with the exception of people seeking admission who already have a bona fide connection to the U.S.
This represents a huge win for Trump. The key element of his Second Travel Order (the one at issue on appeal) was to exercise his constitutional and statutory power to exclude persons from the U.S. The lower courts effectively took that power away, and substituted their own judgments as to security threats. With a relatively narrow exception, that power has been reinstated to the presidency, pending a full decision on the merits of the case.
As to accepting the case the court wrote:
To begin, we grant both of the Government’s petitions for certiorari and consolidate the cases for argument. The Clerk is directed to set a briefing schedule that will permit the cases to be heard during the first session of October Term 2017.
The Court also substantially lifted the injunctions, except to persons who already have a bona fide connection to the U.S.:
We now turn to the preliminary injunctions barring enforcement of the §2(c) entry suspension. We grant the Government’s applications to stay the injunctions, to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of §2(c) with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. We leave the injunctions entered by the lower courts in place with respect to respondents and those similarly situated, as specified in this opinion. See infra, at 11–12….
At the same time, the Government’s interest in enforcing §2(c), and the Executive’s authority to do so, are undoubtedly at their peak when there is no tie between the foreign national and the United States. Indeed, EO–2 itself distinguishes between foreign nationals who have some connection to this country, and foreign nationals who do not, by establishing a case-by-case waiver system primarily for the benefit of individuals in the former category. See, e.g., §§3(c)(i)–(vi). The interest in preserving national security is “an urgent objective of the highest order.” Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U. S. 1, 28 (2010). To prevent the Government from pursuing that objective by enforcing §2(c) against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.
We accordingly grant the Government’s stay applications in part and narrow the scope of the injunctions as to §2(c). The injunctions remain in place only with respect to parties similarly situated to Doe, Dr. Elshikh, and Hawaii. In practical terms, this means that §2(c) may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. All other foreign nationals are subject to the provisions of EO–2….
The Government’s application to stay the injunction with respect to §§6(a) and (b) is accordingly granted in part. Section 6(a) may not be enforced against an individual seeking admission as a refugee who can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Nor may §6(b); that is, such a person may not be excluded pursuant to §6(b), even if the 50,000-
person cap has been reached or exceeded. As applied to all other individuals, the provisions may take effect.
Justice Thomas, joined by Justices Alito and Gorsuch, would have gone further, reinstating the Travel Order in its entirety:
I agree with the Court that the preliminary injunctions entered in these cases should be stayed, although I would stay them in full….
The Government has satisfied the standard for issuing a stay pending certiorari. We have, of course, decided to grant certiorari. See ante, at 8–9. And I agree with the Court’s implicit conclusion that the Government has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits—that is, that the judgments below will be reversed. The Government has also established that failure to stay the injunctions will cause irreparable harm by interfering with its “compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.” Ante, at 13. Finally, weighing the Government’s interest in preserving national security against the hardships caused to respondents by temporary denials of entry into the country, the balance of the equities favors the Government. I would thus grant the Government’s applications for a stay in their entirety….
Moreover, I fear that the Court’s remedy will prove unworkable. Today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding—on peril of contempt— whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country. See ante, at 11–12. The compromise also will invite a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits, as parties and courts struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a “bona fide relationship,” who precisely has a “credible claim” to that relationship, and whether the claimed relationship was formed “simply to avoid §2(c)” of Executive Order No. 13780, ante, at 11, 12. And litigation of the factual and legal issues that are likely to arise will presumably be directed to the two District Courts whose initial orders in these cases this Court has now— unanimously—found sufficiently questionable to be stayed as to the vast majority of the people potentially affected.
So far, this is substantial vindication for Trump. And for me (!) who advised Trump never to abandon even the First Travel Order, President Trump must not back down on immigration Executive Order:
I have seen many analyses critical of the 9th Circuit ruling which urge the Trump administration to take a step back, to withdraw the current Executive Order and rewrite it to fit what is acceptable to the 9th Circuit. The Trump administration, according to some reports, is considering doing that.
That would be a grievous mistake.
The Executive Order, as the Trump administration has said it would be enforced (for example, excluding green card holders from its reach), is perfectly lawful and within the President’s power and authority. To accept the 9th Circuit ruling is to accept that the President does not have the powers vested in him by the Constitution and Congress.
This legal dispute no longer is just about the Executive Order. Democrats have made clear that they will fight in court over almost everything the Trump administration does. The 9th Circuit has opened the door to this tactic on an issue that goes to the core of presidential authority.
If the Courts are to designate themselves the functional directors of the Department of Homeland Security, then such mandate must come from the Supreme Court, not the 9th Circuit.
The White House now has weighed in:
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) June 26, 2017
As to the issue of what “bona fide” means, Dan McLaughlin points to this language:
Supreme Court, writing unanimously in the travel ban case, is wise to how liberal activist groups operate pic.twitter.com/Nu97q4omkY
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) June 26, 2017
I think it’s also important to point out that the Supreme Court Order does not mean that all persons with a bona fide connection must be admitted to the U.S., it’s just that they can’t be summarily excluded based on a country-wide prohibition.
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