As arguments mounted at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, it appeared as if the Court was leaning in favor of the third and current version of President Trump's proposed travel ban.
The more conservative justices and swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy are seemingly sided with the president. Kennedy repeatedly suggested that the court does not often second-guess a sitting president's national security decisions.
In court on Wednesday, challengers of the ban argued that the travel ban is indefinite and perpetual but Kennedy rebutted with a question: You want the president to say he is “convinced that in six months, we're going to have a safe world?”
Additionally, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that the current form of the ban would allow significant numbers of people to enter the United States from the listed countries.
“How many?” Justice Stephen Breyer challenged the Solicitor General.
“Roughly 400,” Francisco replied.
“That's 400 out of 150 million,” Breyer responded.
Attorney Neal Katyal, who represents those who are challenging the ban, asserted that the current process would also exclude many people who have valid reasons to enter the country, such as a 10-year-old girl who cannot move and is seeking American medical treatment.
Justice Elena Kagan added to the argument against the ban by presenting a hypothetical situation. She asked those in attendance to imagine that a “vehement anti-Semite” who says “all kinds of denigrating things about Jews and provokes a lot of resentment and hatred” was elected president. The president could then issue an order that is passable in terms of the legislative process but it is an order that says no person may be permitted from Israel.
Francisco ultimately deflected and pointed out that the hypothetical is not the current case. Despite the pushback, Francisco firmly held that if the Cabinet agrees that there is a national security risk, the court would have to uphold the order.
He would later state that anything said during a campaign would be irrelevant to acts that are taken by a policymaker.
Later during the Feud, Katyal brought up that after the third version of the ban, the president had retweeted anti-Muslim videos.
The fate of President Trump's infamous travel ban is reaching a critical point as a decision is expected in June. The ban itself seems to represent a major policy victory or defeat for the administration that has been staggering to meet campaign promises.
Although the president has stated that this version of the ban is a “watered-down” version, actors on the left of the political spectrum are still outraged.
This version of the legislation bans travelers from five predominantly Muslim countries as well as travelers from North Korea and government officials from Venezuela.