Court partly reinstates Trump travel ban; fall arguments set

Emmett Rice
June 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch (L). Chief Justice John Roberts announced on Monday that the cases would be re-argued.

A Kennedy retirement could place a spotlight on the newest justice, Neil Gorsuch - whose judicial record of strong protection of religious rights includes the Hobby Lobby case, in which he ruled for private company owners challenging the Obamacare contraception coverage mandate on religious principles.

Both cases began in the Obama administration, and the Trump administration has maintained the same position.

President Donald Trump's travel ban win at the Supreme Court on Monday so incensed Democrat Rep. Mazie Hirono that she called a trio of justices "horsemen of the apocalypse".

"As the court's most important Justice - at the center of the institution's ideological balance - Justice Kennedy's ability to bridge the divide between left and right on critical issues such as the right to access abortion can not be overstated", said Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center to CNN Monday. Kennedy could still announce his retirement at any time, though the last day of the term was seen as an opportune moment. President Donald Trump use the conflict promising he'd keep the court in balance. They made a decision to allow a limited version of President Donald Trump's ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries take effect and to set the case for argument in the fall. Kennedy did not address the retirement rumors when he and his clerks gathered over the weekend for a reunion, according to three clerks who were there.

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The court did leave one category of foreigners protected, those "with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States", the court said in an unsigned opinion.

The ban would apply to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Kennedy hasn't actually said anything publicly to suggest he's hanging up his gavel anytime soon, but speculation has been swirling for months, fueled by his colleagues and lawmakers.

Kennedy was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1988 and has become the swing vote of the nine-member Supreme Court, siding on some cases with the conservative wing of judges, and on others with the liberals.

Meanwhile, the court is considering whether to allow the administration to immediately enforce a 90-day ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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