The 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 say in an order Monday that the policy can take full effect even as legal challenges against it make their way through the courts.
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.
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is applauding the Supreme Court’s decision.
The campaign’s Executive Director Michael Glassner says in a statement that Trump’s immigration policies “have always been about one thing: keeping Americans safe from people who seek to do us harm and attack our freedoms.”
He says, “All Americans should take heart that President Trump is fully committed to Making America Safe Again, and will continue the fight to ensure their safety no matter what.”
The court’s decision is not a final ruling on the travel ban, but the action indicates the high court might eventually approve it.
The White House says it is “not surprised” by the Supreme Court’s decision.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley tells reporters aboard Air Force One that the White House is “not surprised by today’s Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the President’s proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism.”
He says the latest version of the ban is “lawful and essential to protecting our homeland” and says the administration looks forward “to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.