scorecardresearch

Supreme Court to hear travel ban case, shadowed by one of its darkest rulings

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a challenge to President Trump’s executive order that restricted travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim.

It is the last scheduled argument of a busy term, and it is likely to yield a major statement on presidential power.

The justices will consider how much weight to give to Trump’s campaign statements in deciding whether the order ws constitutional. In doing so, they will act in the shadow of their own decision in Korematsu v. United States, which endorsed President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1942 internment order and is almost universally viewed as a shameful mistake.

Advertisement



“I’m calling, very simply, for a shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Trump said on Dec. 8, 2015. It was early in his presidential campaign, and he was saying that sort of thing all the time. On this occasion, though, he also cited a historical precedent. “Take a look at what FDR did many years ago,” Trump said. “He did the same thing.” Roosevelt’s 1942 order sent more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps.

“This is a president who was highly respected by all,” Trump said of Roosevelt. “They named highways after him.”

The Justice Department has worked hard to limit the damage from Trump’s campaign statements, which were often extemporaneous and rambling.

“Impugning the official objective of a formal national security and foreign policy judgment of the president based on campaign trail statements is inappropriate and fraught with intractable difficulties,” Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco told the justices in a brief filed in February.

The challengers — Hawaii, several individuals and a Muslim group — took a different view. Trump’s order, they said, was “the fulfillment of the president’s promise to prohibit Muslim immigration to the United States.”

NEW YORK TIMES

Advertisement



to restrict his antiabortion protest outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Portland, Maine.

The justices offered no comment in rejecting the appeal from the Rev. Andrew March, who sued after he said Portland police officers repeatedly told him to lower his voice while he was protesting outside the clinic in Maine’s largest city.

The legal case focused on part of the Maine Civil Rights Act that applies to noise outside health facilities. A federal judge temporarily blocked its enforcement, but the federal appeals court in Boston reversed that ruling.

A Planned Parenthood of Northern New England official said the appeals court made it clear that people have the right to health care without the interruption of protesters.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that the law was not an unconstitutional restriction of free speech because it didn’t focus solely on abortion protests and could be used against any group of demonstrators.