The Supreme Court Finally Heard Arguments Over Trump's Travel Ban

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Katyal agreed, but argued that the travel ban was never presented as a response to an emergency, but rather a solution to a decades-old, ongoing problem of poor information sharing between certain countries and the United States.

A series of lower court rulings previous year highlighted those concerns and branded the measure unconstitutional, dealing what were then stunning setbacks to the new administration.

Challengers say the policy is illegally aimed at Muslims and they point to the president's own words on the campaign trail as evidence.

As the Justices hear arguments on President Trump's latest travel ban that blocks nationals from majority Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

October 18: Judge Chuang in Maryland says much the same thing, ruling that it still constitutes a "Muslim ban" that violates the Constitution's protections against religious discrimination.

Acknowledging in response to a question from Chief Justice John Roberts that the president would have broad authority to issue even a nationality-based ban in "emerging, fast-moving" crisis situations, Katyal countered that this was not that, saying that Trump had been in office for 460 days and had not even proposed legislation to Congress to address any long-range policy concerns he had on the topic addressed by the various orders. We've beaten back Trump's repeated attempts to enshrine bigotry into policy, and every step of the way the courts have been with us.

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The policy bars or limits entry by people from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

The Trump administration is asking the court to reverse lower court rulings striking down the ban. Seema Sked, 39, stood before the court's plaza with a homemade sign that read, "Proud American Muslim". The government announced that the country had cleared up questions on immigrant vetting; suggesting that the security issue, and not Muslims, is behind the ban.

December 4: The Supreme Court rules that the ban can take full effect while legal challenges continue in federal appeals courts.

Venezuela and North Korea also were targeted in the travel ban.

China is helping defend a federal appeals court's conclusion that it was bound by the Chinese government's assertion that the companies were following that country's laws.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who likely holds the deciding vote, appeared to agree, noting the order at issue was more detailed than similar proclamations issued by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

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"Where does the president get the authority to do more than what the Congress has set?" she asked.

The Trump administration isn't taking a position on the requirements of Chinese law.

Justice Samuel Alito was skeptical the ban betrays anti-Muslim bias.

"What if military advisors tell the president that, in their judgement, [he] ought to order an airstrike against Syria", he said.

The court is expected to review the case over the next two months before ruling in late June.

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