The ban applies to travellers from the mostly Muslim countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.
The justices, with two dissenting votes, said Monday that the policy can take full effect even as legal challenges against it make their way through the courts. The action suggests the high court could uphold the latest version of the ban that Trump announced in September.
The ban applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country. Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded.
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Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have left the lower court orders in place.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, will be holding arguments on the legality of the ban this week.
Both courts are dealing with the issue on an accelerated basis, and the Supreme Court noted it expects those courts to reach decisions “with appropriate dispatch.”
Quick resolution by appellate courts would allow the Supreme Court to hear and decide the issue this term, by the end of June.
Trump’s travel ban has been challenged in separate lawsuits by Hawaii and the American Civil Liberties Union. Both have argued the ban discriminates against Muslims and should not go into effect under immigration laws.
“President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret — he has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter,” Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims. We continue to stand for freedom, equality, and for those who are unfairly being separated from their loved ones. We will be arguing Friday in the Fourth Circuit that the ban should ultimately be struck down.”