4 Questions Left by the Supreme Court's Travel Ban Ruling - NBC 6 South Florida
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President Donald Trump

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4 Questions Left by the Supreme Court's Travel Ban Ruling

The Supreme Court has asked for more arguments about whether the challenges to the travel restriction became moot in June

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Supreme Court Reinstates Much of Trump’s Travel Ban

    The Supreme Court reinstated parts of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban and announced it will hear arguments on the case in October.

    (Published Monday, June 26, 2017)

    On again, off again, off again, off again and now, partly back on: That's the peculiar route of President Donald Trump's travel ban after a Supreme Court decision Monday allowing a limited version to take effect.

    The high court said the president's 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced pending arguments scheduled for October as long as those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

    But much remains murky: What exactly is a bona fide relationship? Who gets to decide? Will the travel ban even still be an issue by the time the justices hear arguments?

    Here's a look at some key issues surrounding Trump's executive order:

    Macron Invokes US-France Ties Against Extremism, Nationalism

    [NATL] Macron Invokes US-France Ties Against Extremism, Nationalism

    President Emmanuel Macron of France delivered a striking speech against extremism and nationalism on the floor of Capitol Hill on the last day of his state visit to the United States, invoking ties between the U.S. and France as a call to "liberal order." 

    (Published 5 hours ago)

    WHO'S THE WINNER?
    After the lower courts found the travel ban unconstitutionally biased against Muslims and contrary to federal immigration law, Trump hailed the Supreme Court's decision as a "clear victory for our national security."

    It was a legal win for the administration — to an extent. Three justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch — said they would have allowed the travel ban to take effect as written.

    But the other six kept blocking it as it applies to those traveling to the U.S. on employment, student or family immigrant visas as well as other cases where the traveler can show a "bona fide" connection to the U.S.

    That's no minor exception, according to immigrant groups, who say relatively few people come to the U.S. from the affected countries without such close ties.

    Likewise, the justices said, refugees can travel to the U.S. if they demonstrate those connections — contrary to the part of Trump's executive order suspending the nation's refugee program.

    "This decision is a true compromise," said Kari Hong, an immigration law expert at Boston College Law School. "It is true that the travel ban is allowed to go into effect, but the Supreme Court substantially narrowed who could be denied entry."

    WATCH: Trump Wipes 'Dandruff' Off French President

    [NATL] WATCH: Trump Wipes 'Dandruff' Off French President, Talks Tough on Iran

    The appearance of French President Emmanuel Macron did little to stem President Donald Trump's disillusionment with the Iran nuclear deal, as Trump railed against Iran and Russia for their involvement in the Middle East during a state visit at the White House. Earlier, he wiped "a little piece of dandruff" off Macron's shoulder and noted, "we have to make him perfect. He is perfect."  

     

    (Published Tuesday, April 24, 2018)

    Immigrant rights advocates welcomed the ruling for showing that the president's authority on immigration is not absolute and ensuring people with connections in the U.S. will be allowed to enter. But they said they are worried about other immigrants, including refugees who may be desperate for help but lack U.S. relations.

    BUT WHAT'S 'BONA FIDE'?
    The court's majority laid out the "bona fide" relationships it had in mind. For individuals, a close family relationship is required: A spouse or a mother-in-law would be permitted. So would a worker who accepted a job from an American company, a student enrolled at a U.S. university or a lecturer invited to address a U.S. audience.

    What's not bona fide? A relationship created for purposes of avoiding the travel ban, the justices said.

    "For example, a nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion," the court wrote.

    Still, Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch found that guidance confusing and unworkable.

    "Today's compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country," Thomas wrote.

    Macron Visit Puts Spotlight on Iran Nuclear Deal

    [NATL] Macron Visit Puts Spotlight on Iran Nuclear Deal
    President Emmanuel Macron of France arrived in Washington to a warm welcome, marking the first official state visit of the Trump administration and setting the table for a range of discussions. Macron is expect to urge President Trump not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear, something Mr. Trump has been repeatedly critical of.
    (Published Tuesday, April 24, 2018)

    It also could lead to legal challenges amid the "struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a 'bona fide relationship,' who precisely has a 'credible claim' to that relationship, and whether the claimed relationship was formed 'simply to avoid'" the travel ban," he wrote.

    MORE AIRPORT CHAOS TO COME?
    Trump's initial travel ban, issued without warning on a Friday in January, brought chaos and protests to airports nationwide as travelers from seven targeted countries were barred even if they had prior permission to come to the U.S. The State Department canceled up to 60,000 visas but later reversed that decision.

    A federal judge in Seattle blocked the order a week later, and Trump eventually revised it, dropping Iraq from the list and including reasons people might be exempted, such as a need for medical treatment.

    The limited ban will take effect Thursday morning, the State Department said Monday.

    Airports may be less likely to see the same sorts of demonstrations given the advance warning, that those with prior permission to enter are not affected and the months people have had to reach the U.S. since the first ban was blocked.

    Matt Adams, legal director of the Seattle-based Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, which filed one of many lawsuits against the policy, said he still expects some confusion at airports, at least initially. Eventually, people likely will be barred from boarding planes to the U.S., he said.

    DNC Takes Trump Campaign, Russia and Wikileaks to Court

    [NATL] DNC Takes Trump Campaign, Russia and Wikileaks to Court in Friday Lawsuit

    The suit seeks damages related to the the hack, claiming the DNC spent more than a million dollars to fix computers and lost even more in donations as a result of publicity surrounding the matter.

    (Published Friday, April 20, 2018)

    "With many groups, it's clear-cut from the type of visa: Anyone coming in on family visa or employment visa, by their terms it's clear they have a bona fide relationship," he said. "What's more difficult is if you're coming in on a tourist visa. I think you're going to be going through a lengthy inquiry, and we'll have to see how that plays out."

    WHAT ARE THE NEXT LEGAL STEPS?
    The Supreme Court would not hear arguments on the legality of the ban until October. But by then, a key provision may have expired, possibly making the review unnecessary.

    That's because Trump's order only sought to halt travelers from the six countries for 90 days, to give the administration time to review the screening procedures for those visa applicants.

    The administration has argued that the ban would not go into effect until court orders blocking each provision were lifted. The Supreme Court has asked for more arguments about whether the challenges to the travel restriction became moot in June.

    David Levine, a professor at the University of California's Hastings College of Law, said the justices likely will not sidestep a ruling on the executive order on those grounds.

    "The underlying issue of presidential power is too important and too likely to occur in the future," he said.

    Justice Department Releases Comey Memos to Congress

    [NATL] Justice Department Releases Comey Memos to Congress

    The Department of Justice has given Congress copies of the memos drafted by former FBI Director James Comey on his interactions with President Trump. Comey says he began the memos after a Trump Tower meeting to brief the president-elect on Russia's claims involving prostitutes. 

    (Published Friday, April 20, 2018)