4 things to know about the Supreme Court’s travel ban decision

Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court to protest the judge's ruling to uphold President Trump's travel ban in Washington

Lower courts had deemed the ban unconstitutional, but the U.S. top court has reversed this decision in a 5-4 ruling announced on Tuesday.

A lawsuit filed in March cited Trump's vulgar language to describe African countries while claiming the administration's decision to end temporary protected status for some immigrants was motivated by racism.

He said the proclamation was "squarely within the scope of presidential authority". "The proclamation is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who can not be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices", he said.

Because the text of the law does not mention the religion of any of the travelers who wold be barred under the Trump order, the ban does not violate Constitutional provisions against religious discrimination, the five conservative justices ruled.

However, in the process - thanks to a heated argument involving Justice Sonia Sotomayor - the court also overturned the infamous 1944 Supreme Court decision blessing the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

But Roberts was careful not to endorse either Trump's statements about immigration in general or Muslims in particular, including his campaign call for "a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

What does this ruling mean?

Even as he rejected the parallels to the travel ban, though, Roberts took the opportunity to expressly disavow the high court's 74-year-old decision. The travel ban had restricted the entry of people from Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela. Venezuela and North Korea also were targeted in the current policy.

"We are profoundly disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the travel ban - a policy that goes against our mission and values", Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk said in a joint statement on Twitter. Well, the court struck both these provisions down by a 5-4 vote, same alignment again, saying that these requirements were too burdensome on the right of free speech.

Sabina Mohyuddin of the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee said the travel ban and increased enforcement - at the border and elsewhere - is all a part of Trump's anti-immigrant agenda.

But data from the Department of Justice reveal that the government issued just 289 visas to students from Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia in the first three months of this year.

Dozens of people gathered outside the court building on Tuesday, holding banners and shouting slogans such as "No ban, no wall" to protest against the decision on a policy Donald Trump has fought for since his first week in office in January 2017.

The travel ban was implemented haphazardly at the start of the Trump administration and faced repeated setbacks from the United States legal system.

The third time turned out to be the charm.

United We Dream proclaimed that the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling "will go down as one of the worst and outrageous Supreme Court decisions in USA history, akin to racist rulings in American history that have led to the internment of Japanese Americans and the enslavement and dehumanization of Black Americans". "At a minimum, we have to make sure that we vet people coming into the country", the Republican president said, referring in a statement to "this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians".

Since, really, Bill Clinton, we've seen presidents seek to expand their powers while limiting the powers of Congress. George W. Bush did it. Barack Obama did it.

Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrant Rights Project called the ruling one of the court's "great failures". The President's ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries is another brick in the invisible wall which does nothing to strengthen our national security, or our nation's shared prosperity.

Immigration has been one of the thorniest issues in American politics for decades and the Trump administration has rolled back its "zero tolerance" border policy that had triggered global outcries over family separations.

But she warned that by upholding the president's travel ban, Roberts and others in the majority are making the same mistake Black and his colleagues did three-quarters of a century ago.

The state of Hawaii had challenged the ban and a federal judge blocked its implementation. "It can not be said that it is impossible to "discern a relationship to legitimate state interests" or that the policy is 'inexplicable by anything but animus, '" Roberts concludes.

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