One ruling reinstates the travel ban, the other further protects religious freedom
WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court handed down “two big wins” for the American people this week, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
“If you believe in the rule of law, it came as no surprise that the Court decided that we have a right to keep potential terrorists out by vetting who we let in. What was surprising, particularly for the disruptive forces that sought to undermine the security of the nation, that the decision was unanimous. All nine of the Supremes, left and right, signed off on the ruling. And, three Justices Gorsuch, Alito and Thomas noted that the President is well within his Constitutional authority to execute the order, in its entirety.”
The Court also ruled in support of the First Amendment right of religious freedom with its verdict that church run organizations could not be denied public funds simply on the basis that they are religious bodies. The case involved Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, MO. The church had been denied a grant from the state of Missouri for which other charitable organizations were deemed eligible.
“There is no question that Trinity Lutheran was denied a grant simply because of what it is. A church,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the 7-2 decision for the majority.” He noted that “the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution … and cannot stand.”
According to Weber, the travel ban allows us to keep people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen out of the country for 90 days. And, it imposes a 120-day ban on all refugees while the government implements strong vetting procedures. “The Supreme Court ruling lets the ban stand ‘with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States’. In other words, individuals from the named countries as well as refugees seeking entry into the U.S. need to show they have ties here.”
Lower courts had ordered an injunction on the ban, preventing law enforcement from executing the order and saying it violated our country’s immigration laws. The Supreme Court decision implies that it does not violate immigration laws and is Constitutional, especially since it was a unanimous ruling, says Weber.
Foreigners from the nations identified in the ban will not be permitted to enter the country for the prescribed period of times unless they have “a close familial relationship,” work for an American company or go to school here. And, the Court said, those situations must be “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course” and not meant to get around the ban.
“The travel ban ruling is unlikely to stop the protests and demonstrations. After all, those who participate in that kind of disruptive behavior are single-minded when it comes to notions of right and wrong and their dislike for so-called establishment values,” Weber points out.
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