On Day 1 of Travel Ban Case at SCOTUS, Things Look Good for Trump

Roberts, Kennedy signal support for the policy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 25, 2018 11:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Donald Trump appears likely to win his travel ban case at the Supreme Court, the AP reports. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy both signaled support for the travel policy in arguments Wednesday at the high court. The ban's challengers almost certainly need one of those two justices if the court is to strike down the ban on travelers from several mostly Muslim countries. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the most aggressive questioner of Solicitor General Noel Francisco in his defense of the Trump policy, and the three other liberal justices also raised questions about it. The justices voted in December to allow the policy to take full effect pending their full consideration. Wednesday was the first time they took it up in open court. The Trump administration is asking the court to reverse lower court rulings that would strike down the ban.

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The Supreme Court is considering whether the president can indefinitely keep people out of the country based on nationality. It is also looking at whether the policy is aimed at excluding Muslims from the United States. Francisco insisted "this is not a so-called 'Muslim ban'" Wednesday, CNN reports, and Justice Samuel Alito noted at one point it did "not look like a Muslim ban" to him. People waited in line for seats for days, and on Wednesday morning opponents of the ban demonstrated outside the court holding signs that read "No Muslim Ban. Ever" and "Refugees Welcome," among other things. In another sign of heightened public interest, the court was taking the rare step of making an audio recording of the proceedings available just hours after the arguments. The last time the court did that was for gay marriage arguments in 2015. A decision on the travel ban is expected by late June.

(Read more Trump travel ban stories.)

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