The U.S. is free to place travel restrictions on residents from eight countries, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday, approving what is essentially the third version of the Trump administration’s “travel ban.”
Unveiled this September, the regulation impacts foreign nationals from eight mostly Muslim countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, as well as North Korea and Venezuela. The issue is still being reviewed under two cases in lower courts which have partially blocked the ban.
"We are not surprised by today's Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the President's proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism," a White House spokesman said. "The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts."
The two previous versions of the rule faced legal challenges because they impacted Muslim-majority countries. This fall, the Trump administration added North Korea and Venezuela to the list.
It was not clear today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, how travelers would be impacted, or how appeals in Hawaii and Maryland courts might muddy the waters. Both cases are scheduled to be heard this week.