The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will decide whether President Trump’s revised travel ban was lawful, setting the stage for a major decision on the scope of presidential power, reports the New York Times. Trump’s revised executive order, issued in March, limited travel from six mostly Muslim countries for 90 days and suspended the nation’s refugee program for 120 days. The time was needed, the order said, to address gaps in the government’s screening and vetting procedures. Two federal appeals courts have blocked key parts of the order.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., ruled last month that the limits on travel from the six countries violated the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion. Relying on Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign, where he called for a “Muslim ban,” the court said the order “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.” The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, recently blocked both the limits on travel and the suspension of the refugee program. It ruled on statutory rather than constitutional grounds, saying Trump had exceeded the authority granted him by Congress.