June 26, 2017. The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a decision partially reinstating the travel ban set forth in President Trump’s Executive Order 13780 issued on March 6, 2017, while indicating that it will consider the case on its merits in the Fall term. Implementation of the ban was previously enjoined by decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeal in the 4th and 9th Circuits.
Nationals of six Muslim majority countries are affected by the decision: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The ban sought to bar all nationals of these countries from entering the U.S. for a 90 day period, while the government reviewed the security issues involved in screening visa applicants.
In today’s decision, the Court allowed the ban to take effect except for those individuals who have a close familial relationship with a U.S. person, or a documented relationship with a U.S. entity. Examples provided by the Court include a person seeking to visit or live with a family member, a student admitted to a U.S. university, or a worker offered a job in the U.S.
Three Justices dissented and would have allowed the ban to apply to all foreign nationals from the designated countries. They were motivated in part by their concern that creation of these “exceptions” would lead to extensive litigation by prospective travelers and their U.S. contacts seeking to push the boundaries of the decision.