The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, has upheld President Trump’s travel ban proclamation. The Court rejected the claim that the ban exceeds the President’s statutory authority under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), concluding: “The Proclamation is squarely within the scope of the President’s authority under the INA.”
The Court also said the Plaintiffs were unlikely to prevail on their claim that the ban violates the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause because it disfavors the Muslim religion. In matters involving immigration and national security, the Court said that even where there is “extrinsic evidence” of religious hostility, the policy will be upheld “so long as it can reasonably be understood to result from a justification independent of unconstitutional grounds.” The Court concluded the Plaintiffs were unlikely to prove their case under that standard, stating: “The Proclamation is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices. The text says nothing about religion.”
Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation are proud to have supported the President’s travel ban executive order from the very beginning in amicus briefs at various federal courts including the Supreme Court.