The US Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban restricting entry to people from five Muslim-majority countries, delivering the president a major victory in a tortuous legal battle.
The win follows two embarrassing climbdowns for the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on migrants crossing the Mexico border and with Trump under mounting pressure to legislate a solution to the immigration crisis, one of the most polarizing debates in US politics.
Conservative jurists prevailed over liberals in Tuesday’s majority opinion from America’s highest court. The 5-4 ruling validated the most recent version of the ban, which the Trump administration claims is driven by national security.
Trump pounced on the decision as a victory for his authority to defend national security. “Wow!” he tweeted just minutes after the ruling.
“The proclamation does not exceed any textual limit on the president’s authority,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion, capping a battle that began just days after Trump took office in January 2017.
“The government has set forth a sufficient national security justification to survive rational basis review. We express no view on the soundness of the policy.”
In a statement, Trump called the ruling “a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country.”
The decision relates to Trump’s third travel ban, which applies to travelers from North Korea and five mainly Muslim nations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — or about 150 million people.
A week into his presidency, Trump enacted a campaign promise and announced a 90-day ban on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.