The US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.

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Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban

June 26, 2018 - 12:54 pm
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WASHINGTON (1010 WINS/AP) -- The Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump's ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.

The 5-4 decision Tuesday is the court's first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy.

Trump reacted to the ruling tweeting, "SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!"

"Today's Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for the American People and the Constitution," Trump later said in a statement released by the White House. "The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the President to defend the national security of the United States."

"In this era of worldwide terrorism an extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country. This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication to do what it takes to secure our border and our country," the statement continued.

"As long as I am President, I will defend the sovereignity, safety and security of the American people, and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and its citizens. Our country will always be safe, secure and protected on my watch," Trump concluded.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.

The court rejected a challenge that the ban discriminated against Muslims or exceeded Trump's authority.
 
Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. He also rejected the challengers' claim of anti-Muslim bias.
 
The court may have signaled its eventual approval in December, when the justices allowed the policy to take full effect even as the court fight continued and lower courts had ruled it out of bounds.

Following the ruling, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, "This ban is institutionalized Islamophobia, promoted under the guise of national security. Banning people from our country on the basis of religion is an affront to our founding ideals. With this decision, the highest court in the land has sent a message of exclusion and division across the globe. As our President tries to build walls, New York City will continue to welcome people from all over the world to our shores, from all faith traditions. Our values have helped make our city the safest big city in the United States – and they are what make America great.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the travel ban a "gross violation" of American values.

"This shameful and bigoted policy is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to govern by hate and division and continue the federal government's assault on immigrants," Cuomo said. "By upholding a policy rooted in Islamophobia, this ruling encourages and contributes to a culture of profiling and religious discrimination."

"Just because the Supreme Court says it is legal does not mean it is right," the governor added.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood issued a statement saying, "President Trump’s travel bans are a stain on American history that were rooted in deep anti-Muslim animus and unleashed chaos on families, businesses, institutions, and communities throughout New York."

“Trump’s Muslim ban is abhorrent and xenophobic," said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. "Today's Supreme Court decision is a stain on our nation’s history and will be remembered alongside other racist and reprehensible decisions. I stand with Muslim communities throughout New York – and our country – to condemn the ban. We will continue to fight back today and every day for our constitutional values and religious freedom.”    

"Today, we are reminded that our country has yet to outrun the shameful shadows of past bigotry as this decision allows the Trump administration to turn its back on a proud moral tradition of aiding refugees and immigrants who seek our help when their homelands are in turmoil," Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said. “Congress must act now to reverse this misguided policy and protect American values from a President who seems intent on destroying them.”

The New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations said the ruling upheld an attack on religious freedom.

"Today thousands in New York and more across the nation unite in rejection of the SCOTUS ruling and to affirm our continued struggle against President Trump's attack on our nation’s religious freedom,” CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said in a news release. “Where the SCOTUS ruling has failed to safeguard religious freedom, the people of our communities remain undeterred to fight against discrimination and abuse, even if that abuse stems from the highest office in the land. Families egregiously separated and denied entry just because they are Muslim can rely on the fact that Americans will forever insist on the promise of equality for all."

(© 2018 1010 WINS. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)