That’s going to leave a dent in many a narrative, from the Associated Press:
The court said Monday the ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen could be enforced as long as they lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The justices will hear arguments in the case in October.
. . .
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of the case, and that it will suffer irreparable harm with any interference. Thomas said the government’s interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country.
Two federal appeals courts had blocked the travel policy, which Trump announced a week after he took office in January and revised in March after setbacks in court.
If that sounds like gobbledygook, then the English-to-English translation is that no one has had their rights deprived under the revised March 2017 order — ergo there is no case to bring. So the Trump travel ban — insofar as it targets the nationals of other countries rather than the religious orientation of nationals from those countries — is perfectly acceptable.
The questions come in October, when we get to argue about whether there are specific violations of individual rights vs. theoretical ones.
Yet the unanimous decision also highlights the problem of judicial activism, where once again two renegade courts have allowed themselves to be leveraged for leftist political ends.
As it stands today, there are something on the order of 300+ vacant judicial appointments to the federal bench, and a Republican Congress willing to fill them all. Congress should act with maximum speed to bring common sense to the courts, before the Democrats start planning to leverage their advantages in 2018 and beyond.
The case will go before the full court in October.
UPDATE: A reader helpfully insists that I have this wrong — that the travel ban is not substantially in place because it allows “close relatives” to come into the country. Yet from the very same source cited (SCOTUSblog) it reads in part:
The court’s opinion focused primarily on the government’s request to reinstate the ban while the cases are before the Supreme Court. Emphasizing that the purpose of temporary relief like this is “to balance the equities as the litigation moves forward,” the court made clear that it had the authority to “tailor” its ruling so that it applied to some, but not all, of those affected.
That is precisely what it did.
Not sure that spin works though. Even if one argues that the lower court ruling that allows injunctions, the “travel ban” such as it is in the March 2017 is by and large in effect.