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US Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban

The travel ban targeting mostly Muslim countries has sparked anti-racism protests [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 June, 2018

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The highest court in the US has voted 5-4 to uphold Trump's travel ban barring citizens from seven mostly Muslim countries.
The US Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority. 

The court voted 5-4 to uphold the ban, which stops citizens from five Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan - and North Korea and some Venezuelan officials from entering the US.

The court in April heard arguments in Trump v. Hawaii to determine whether the leader's third iteration of the executive order, which the administration argues is justified on national security grounds, was valid.

Just one week into his presidency on January 27, 2017, Trump followed through with a campaign promise and announced a 90-day ban on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - creating chaos as hundreds of travelers were blocked at airports.

Tens of thousands of legal visas were canceled and protesters took to the streets.

Courts in several states found the measure was illegal, and did so again in March 2017 after the Trump administration slightly amended the original order, with Iraq dropped from the list.

A furious Trump bashed the courts and his own Justice Department, but was forced to recast the ban again. 

Issued in September, the so-called Version 3.0 was open-ended, dropped Sudan, and added Chad, North Korea and a selection of Venezuelan officials. Chad was removed in recent months.

Rights groups said those changes were cosmetic to mask the anti-Muslim nature of the policy.

Lower courts accepted their arguments and again froze the ban. But the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court, which allowed the policy to go into effect in October ahead of the hearing.

The result is an almost complete cutoff of travelers from the named countries.

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