The Supreme Court will decide whether President Trump’s responsibility to protect the nation grants him authority to ban travelers from specific countries. The justices will rule by June in the major examination of the president’s powers. the Washington Post reports. The court will consider the third iteration of Trump’s travel ban, issued last fall, which bars various travelers from eight countries, six of them with Muslim majorities. Lower courts have struck down each version, but the conservative-leaning Supreme Court has given the administration hope that Trump may be able to carry out one of his most significant and divisive initiatives.
What the president has said is a necessary step to protect the U.S. from terrorism has been characterized by opponents as an unconstitutional fulfillment of campaign promises to ban Muslim immigrants. His first order, issued a week after his inauguration, created chaos at airports and prompted protests in the U.S. and abroad. Trump’s comments and tweets about immigration and terrorism have ensured that the issue remains at the front of the national debate. In requesting a high court decision on the travel ban, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the court must reestablish the vast authority the president wields when the nation’s security is at stake. “The courts below have overridden the President’s judgments on sensitive matters of national security and foreign relations, and severely restricted the ability of this and future Presidents to protect the nation,” Francisco wrote in his petition to the court. Challengers to the ban — in this case, the state of Hawaii and others — say Trump has exceeded his legal authority. Last month, justices said the restrictions in Trump’s latest version of the ban could go into effect while legal challenges to the merits of the decision continued.