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Donald Trump's 'Travel Ban' Is Still a 'Muslim Ban' No Matter What the Supreme Court Ruled

June 26, 2018 in Economics

By Ilya Somin

Ilya Somin

There are none so blind as they who choose not to see. That
saying captures the grave error the Supreme Court made in
Tuesday’s travel ban decision. In a 5-4 ruling written by
Chief Justice John Roberts, the justices largely upheld President
Donald Trump’s “proclamation” banning nearly all
entry into the United States by citizens of five Muslim-majority
nations.

They did so even though, during the 2016 campaign, Trump
repeatedly called for a “Muslim ban” forbidding Muslims from
entering the United States. When he later switched to a“territorial” ban focusing on
Muslim-majority nations, he repeatedly equated this new approach
with his original policy, and even called it an “expansion” of the
earlier Muslim ban.

The overwhelming majority of the people barred by the
“proclamation” are Muslim, and there is little if any evidence indicating that their
exclusion protects national security. Over the past 40 years, the
number of people killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by
entrants from any of the five nations is zero. On average, they probably pose less risk
than even native-born Americans.

Donald Trump’s statements
against Muslims during the election clearly shows his motive in the
travel ban. The Supreme Court eviscerated the First Amendment by
ruling in Trump’s favor.

In any other circumstance, such clear and overwhelming evidence
of discriminatory motive, combined with the absence of legitimate
justifications, would be a violation of the First Amendment, which
bans government policies that discriminate on the basis of
religion. The court has repeatedly ruled that evidence of
discriminatory motive targeting people on the basis of race,
ethnicity or religion can invalidate even a seemingly
“neutral” policy that does not explicitly mention the
forbidden classification, unless the government can prove it would
have adopted the same policy for legitimate reasons.

Just three weeks ago, in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the
court invalidated a judgment against a baker who had violated state
anti-discrimination laws by refusing to provide a cake for a
same-sex wedding, on the grounds that two of seven members of a state agency that
reviewed his case expressed hostility to his religious beliefs.

The evidence of bigoted motivation in the travel ban case is
far stronger.

Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion cites Trump’s
statements, and assumes that they are relevant evidence.
Nonetheless, he essentially ignores their impact by ruling that
legal challenges to presidential decisions on immigration policy
are subject only to minimal “rational basis” review that can be
satisfied so long as there is a plausible basis for the policy.

This approach comes close to gutting the Bill of Rights …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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