The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Trump administration can fully enforce its immigration ban while lower courts continue to consider the issue.
Lower courts had previously prevented the ban from applying to people who had a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the U.S. This could include grandparents or cousins, among others. Now, the immigration ban can be enforced fully.
Impacted nations include Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea, as well as some people from Venezuela.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the two dissenting votes.
What happens now?
Now, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hold arguments on the ban this week regarding the legality of the ban.
Once those appeals are resolved, the Supreme Court can decide the issue, potentially by the end of this term, if things move quickly (the term ends in June 2018).
“In light of its decision to consider the case on an expedited basis, we expect that the Court of Appeals will render its decision with appropriate dispatch,” the Supreme Court orders said.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on the restrictions do not impact how the lower appeals courts will consider the legality of the ban overall.
Tweets as evidence?
The Trump administration, represented by Solicitor General Noel Francisco, argues that the immigration ban is not “motivated by animus rather than protecting national security.”
However, that argument will be challenged in court, possibly using President Donald Trump’s own social media posts.
Trump shared three anti-Muslim videos on Twitter last week, drawing criticism from the British government and creating a public conflict with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Neal Katyal, one of the lawyers challenging the ban, pointed out the significance of Trump’s tweets in a reply.
“Thanks! See you in court next week,” Katyal wrote in a comment to Trump.
Federal judges have, in previous rulings, cited things Trump has said when deciding to block different iterations of the immigration ban.