On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban from primarily Muslim countries in a 5-4 ruling, with Trump-appointee Neil Gorsuch as the deciding vote. The court agreed to hear the case back in January — while continuing to implement it in the meantime — and the decision comes even after a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals found the ban unconstitutional in a 9-4 ruling the following month.
On behalf of the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. argued that the failed Trump Steaks entrepreneur had “ample statutory authority” to make national security judgments when it comes to immigration.
“The issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements,” the chief justice wrote. “It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility.”
“In doing so,” he wrote. “we must consider not only the statements of a particular President, but also the authority of the Presidency itself.”
Not surprisingly, the court’s liberal minority condemned the decision, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor comparing the ruling to Korematsu v. United States in 1944, which allowed for the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II, in a fiery dissent from the bench. She accused the court of merely replacing “one gravely wrong decision with another” by upholding Trump’s order.