The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared poised to hand President Donald Trump a huge legal victory, signaling on Wednesday it was likely to uphold his contentious travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries.
Conservative justices including Chief Justice John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy, a frequent swing vote on the nine-member court, indicated during arguments in the high-profile case their unwillingness to second-guess Trump on the national security justifications offered for the policy.
Trump has said the ban is needed to protect the United States from attacks by Islamic militants.
The challengers, led by the state of Hawaii, have argued the policy was motivated by Trump’s enmity toward Muslims. Lower courts have ruled against each of the three versions put forward by Trump of the travel ban, concluding they violated federal immigration law and the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on the government favoring one religion over another.
But with five conservatives on the nine-member Supreme Court, Trump seemed likely to be on the winning side when the justices issue their ruling by the end of June.
Protesters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC, U.S., April 25, 2018, while the court justices consider case regarding presidential powers as it weighs the legality of President Donald Trump's latest travel ban targeting people from Muslim-majority countries.
“I hope that as a country we will realize that would be shameful,” National Immigration Law Center Executive Director Marielena Hincapié said.