US Supreme Court backs Donald Trump's 'Muslim travel ban'

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The Supreme Court on Monday granted President Donald Trump's request that his revised travel ban be enforced fully while legal challenges to it proceed in lower courts.

The court, with two of the nine justices dissenting, granted the U.S. administration's request to lift two injunctions imposed by lower courts that had partially blocked the ban.

David Levine, a University of California Hastings law school professor, said that by allowing the ban to take effect just days before the appeals court arguments, the justices were signaling their view.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the only two justices who would have left the lower court orders in place.

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In the Hawaii case, a district court judge blocked the ban from going into effect except as it pertains to Venezuela and North Korea.

The measure affects travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Six of the countries have Muslim majorities.

Earlier court rulings said that the ban excluded people with "bona fide" relationships with someone in the United States.

The president issued the most recent travel ban in September.

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If anything, it said, the government's case has weakened.

Opponents of this and previous versions of the ban say they show a bias against Muslims.

"The Constitution and acts of Congress confer on the President broad authority to prevent aliens overseas from entering this country when he deems it in the nation's interest", Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in court papers. Lower courts previously ruled that travelers from those countries with "bona fide" connections to the US could continue to enter the country while legal challenges were pending.

In his brief, Francisco says the administration's thorough review "conclusively rebuts respondents' claims that the entry restrictions were motivated by animus rather than protecting national security".

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