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US Supreme Court grants Trump his full travel ban

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A divided U.S. Supreme Court let President Donald Trump’s travel ban take full effect while legal challenges go forward, handing him a major victory and suggesting the court ultimately will uphold the restrictions.

Trump will now be able to bar or restrict entry by people from six mostly Muslim countries, even if they have a relationship with a U.S.-based person or institution. It marks the first time the Supreme Court has let his entry restrictions take full effect.

In two identical orders issued Monday, the justices effectively superseded a compromise they reached in June, when they let an earlier version of the ban take partial effect but exempted people with a “bona fide” U.S. connection. The new orders apply for the remainder of the appeals process, including possible Supreme Court review.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented without explanation. Lower courts had partially blocked the new policy, issuing orders that tracked the Supreme Court’s June decision.

The administration gambled that the high court would be more receptive to the newest version of the ban, issued in September. The policy bans or restricts entry by people from the predominantly Muslim countries of Iran, Syria, Chad, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. The policy also bars entry by people from North Korea and by some Venezuelan government officials.

The new Supreme Court orders don’t directly address the merits of the legal challenges. Two federal appeals courts are scheduled to hear arguments this week. The high court could agree to consider appeals later, perhaps soon enough for a ruling during the current term that ends in June.

In its orders Monday, the Supreme Court said it expects the appeals courts to rule “with appropriate dispatch.”

The administration argued that the newest version of the ban, announced on Sept. 24, was put in place only after national security officials thoroughly reviewed vetting procedures on a country-by-country basis. The Department of Homeland Security would be able to add or remove travel restrictions on countries as conditions change.

For more on the travel ban, check out the Decrypted  podcast:

The challengers to the policy say Trump is exceeding his authority under federal immigration law and violating the Constitution by targeting Muslims.

The appeals are Trump v. Hawaii, 17A550, and Trump v. International Refugee Assistance, 17A560.

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