WASHINGTON (AP) - A long time coming, the Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday in favor of President Donald Trump’s travel ban hands the president a much-needed victory sure to embolden him in pressing hard-line immigration policies heading into the midterm elections.
The decision arrived just as Trump was facing a political firestorm over the wrenching images of migrant children separated from their parents at the border. Bipartisan blowback to the family separations had caused the president to abruptly reverse course last week on the issue, and it raised questions about whether the hawkish immigration views that helped propel Trump into office could sustain Republicans this fall.
“The ruling shows that all of the attacks from the media and the Democrat politicians are wrong, and they turned out to be very wrong, and what we’re looking for as Republicans, I can tell you, is strong borders, no crime,” a defiant Trump said from the White House. “What the Democrats are looking at is open borders, which will bring tremendous crime.”
Trump glossed over the fact that the court’s decision applied to the third version of his travel ban, not the original and far more sweeping version. Officials from across the government spent months crafting criteria to assess each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the U.S. to ensure the final version would hold up in court.
The president was in the White House residence when he found out about the 5-4 ruling. Among West Wing aides and outside Trump advisers, there was a feeling of satisfaction that after months of what they viewed as overreaction in the media and from liberals, the highest court in the land found their policy to be legally sound.
“Donald Trump ran on and won because of his commitment to keep America safe. Today’s Supreme Court ruling on his travel ban is a vindication of the president, his administration and the will of the American people,” said Steve Bannon, a key architect of the original travel ban that sparked chaos at airports and was panned by critics as a glorified “Muslim ban.”
The victory was also seen as validation for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to break with precedent and refuse to hold hearings to confirm President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court choice in 2016. That left the seat open for Trump’s pick, Neil Gorsuch, who provided the margin of victory on Tuesday.
The ruling comes days after Trump succumbed to tremendous political pressure and issued an executive order ending the practice of separating migrant children from their parents when families cross...