Supreme Court

Chaos and outrage: The twists and turns of Trump's travel ban

Yesterday, the Supreme Court partially reinstated the ban.

President Trump Signs VA Accountability And Whistleblower Protection Act - Washington Kleponis Chris / CNP/ABACA Kleponis Chris / CNP/ABACA / CNP/ABACA

THE US SUPREME Court partially reinstated Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban yesterday, ahead of a full hearing on the case. It was the latest twist in one of the defining battles of the president’s young administration.

Trump’s revised executive order — which bars access to the United States to all refugees and to travellers from six mainly Muslim countries — replaced a broader ban that was blocked by US courts days after its chaotic rollout.

The decision by the nation’s highest court to examine the travel ban in full in October this year could put the embattled measure on a path to final resolution.

Here’s a timeline of the ban’s legal journey:

27 January, 2017: Just one week after his inauguration, Trump unveils his original executive order on immigration with no prior warning, sowing travel chaos and igniting worldwide outrage. Legal challenges are quickly filed against the ban, which denies entry to all refugees for 120 days, and travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Refugees from Syria are blocked indefinitely.

3 February: A federal judge in Seattle, James Robart, suspends the ban nationwide after two US states ask for it to be overturned on grounds of religious discrimination and that it had caused “irreparable harm.” Trump mocks the decision, calling Robart a “so-called judge.”

Appeals Court Rules Against Trump Travel Ban Patrick Fallon Patrick Fallon

5 February: A San Francisco-based federal appeals court rejects a Justice Department request to immediately reinstate the travel ban, scheduling a hearing for both sides to present additional documents.

7 February: A panel of three judges hears arguments in a contentious hearing that focuses on whether to immediately lift the lower court’s stay, rather than on the decree’s constitutionality.

9 February: The San Francisco federal appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump’s controversial order, meaning the lower court’s stay remains in place. The president vows a legal fight, tweeting: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

10 February: Trump denounces the previous day’s ruling as a “disgraceful decision,” vowing his decree will ultimately go into effect as the White House mulls its next steps.

16 February: Trump says he will announce a “new and very comprehensive” executive order on immigration the following week in a bid to work around hurdles blocking the initial decree, rulings the government opts not to appeal before the Supreme Court.

6 March: The president signs a scaled-back version of the travel ban, exempting Iraqis and permanent US residents.

Donald Trump presidency PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

16 March: A federal judge in Hawaii freezes the second version of the ban, while a US judge in Maryland issues a separate block on the core provision of travel from the Muslim world, saying it amounts to discrimination. The Trump administration vows to challenge the rulings.

8 May: The Trump administration defends the decree at an appeals court hearing in Virginia, with judges questioning whether Trump had acted in “bad faith,” disguising an order targeting Muslims as one intended to prevent terrorism.

15 May: The order again faces judicial scrutiny, this time at an appeals court in Seattle. The US Justice Department’s lawyer says the president is targeting “Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that sponsor or shelter them,” not Muslims.

25 May: The appeals court in Virginia upholds a lower court’s decision to block the measure, dealing a fresh setback to the president.

2 June: The Trump administration asks the Supreme Court to take on the case.

12 June: In a new defeat for Team Trump, an appeals court in San Francisco rules against the ban, saying the president exceeded his authority to make immigration-related national security judgments without justification.

26 June: The Supreme Court agrees to examine the travel ban case in full in October, and in the meantime rules that it can be immediately enforced for travellers from the targeted countries “who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

- © AFP, 2017

Read: Part of Trump’s travel ban gets the green light>

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