Trump administration asks Supreme Court to move forward on travel ban

Trump administration asks Supreme Court to move forward on travel ban

Trump administration asks Supreme Court to move forward on travel ban
The Trump administration today urged the Supreme Court to reinstate its controversial travel ban on citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, elevating a divisive legal battle involving national security and religious discrimination.

In its filings, the administration asked the nine justices to consider the legality of President Donald Trump's executive order of March 6, a move that appeals a ruling by the 4th Circuit that upheld a nationwide halt to the ban.

The executive order was halted by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 10-3 ruling. The ruling was one in a series of legal defeats for the administration, as judges across the country have said Trump's claim of protecting the nation was cover for making good on a campaign promise to ban Muslims from entry into the US.

Suspended by US courts, Trump in his executive order had banned visa issuance to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also halt the flow of refugees to the US.

"We have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that President Trump's executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the Nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism," Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.

"The president is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States," Flores said after Department of Justice filed two emergency applications with the nine Court justices seeking to block two lower court rulings that blocked Trump's executive order.

The court said the executive order "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination."

Last month, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals largely affirmed a federal judge's decision from March, which found the core provision of the revised executive order -- temporarily blocking foreign nationals from six Muslim- majority countries from entering the US -- likely violates the Constitution because its primary purpose was to disfavour Muslims.

The March ban was Trump's second effort to implement travel restrictions on people from several Muslim-majority countries through an executive order. The first, issued on January 27, led to chaos and protests at airports and in major US cities before it was blocked by courts.

The second order was intended to overcome the legal issues posed by the original ban, but it was blocked by judges before it could go into effect on March 16.
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