Supreme Court unanimous on Trump’s travel ban, will hear same-sex wedding cake case

by WorldTribune Staff, June 26, 2017

The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision on June 26 restored most of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel to the U.S. from six terror-prone nations.

“Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security,” Trump said in a statement shortly after the ruling. “It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective.”

President Donald Trump: ‘Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our nation’s homeland.’

The Supreme Court said it will decide in the fall whether or not the travel ban is constitutional.

The court also said it would decide in October whether business owners can refuse service to gay couples if they oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds

The court said the Trump administration can enforce the executive order against anyone from the six nations – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – who doesn’t already have a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. citizen or legal resident.

“All other foreign nationals are subject to the provisions of [the executive order],” the court ruled.

Trump said he would put the ban into effect 72 hours after the Supreme Court gave him the green light.

“My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe,” the president said. “Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our nation’s homeland.”

The administration has said the ban was needed to allow an internal review of the screening procedures for visa applicants from the six relevant countries. That review should be complete before Oct. 2, the first day the justices could hear arguments in their new term.

The Supreme Court could have a vacancy by October, if Justice Anthony Kennedy decides to retire. Kennedy did not say he would be stepping down on June 26.

Kennedy turns 81 next month and has been on the court for nearly 30 years. Several of his former law clerks have said they think he is contemplating stepping down in the next year or so.

If the speculation pans out, that would give Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on June 26 agreed to hear the case of a Christian baker in Colorado who declined to make a wedding cake for two men.

The court took up an appeal by Jack Phillips, a baker who runs Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, just outside Denver, of a state court ruling that his refusal violated a Colorado anti-discrimination law. Phillips contends the law violated his rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

The dispute is one of several similar cases around the United States pressed by Christians who object to gay marriage and argue they should not be forced to violate their religious beliefs by providing certain services to same-sex couples.

The court will hear the case in October.

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