Court upholds travel ban
April 18, 2019
WASHINGTON – In a 5-4 decision June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban on people entering the United States from some Muslim-majority countries, saying the president’s action was within his power.
The court reversed a series of lower court decisions that had struck down the ban as illegal or unconstitutional.
Chief Justice John Roberts issued the opinion, supported by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. It said the president’s proclamation is “squarely within the scope of presidential authority” in the Immigration and Nationality Act. It also noted the ban’s “numerous exceptions for various categories of foreign nationals” and a waiver program for all those impacted.
In sharply worded dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said the court’s decision “fails to safeguard” this nation’s fundamental principle of religious liberty and “leaves undisturbed” a policy that “now masquerades behind a facade of national-security concerns.”
A statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed disappointment with the ruling, saying it “failed to take into account the clear and unlawful targeting of a specific religious group by the government.”
“The Catholic Church takes a strong stand against religious discrimination, and we will continue to advocate for the rights of people of all faiths, as well as serve migrants and refugees through our various ministries,” said the June 27 joint statement signed by two USCCB committee chairs, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, head of the Committee on Migration, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., head of the Committee for Religious Liberty.