Updated Jun 26, 2018

Go deeper: Supreme Court upholds Trump’s travel ban

People protest President Trump's travel ban outside the Supreme Court. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s most recent travel ban today in a 5-4 decision, ruling that it falls within the president’s traditional power to control immigration policy.

The big picture: This is the court’s first major ruling on a Trump policy — and it showed. As is the case with so much of his presidency, the justices’ fiercest disagreements over Trump’s policies were wrapped up with disputes about Trump himself.

Between the lines: The justices’ competing approaches to this case mirrored the broader partisan divides in electoral politics.

  • Justice Sonia Sotomayor, arguably the most outspoken member of the court’s liberal wing, said the travel ban “was motivated by anti-Muslim animus,” citing Trump’s public statements about Muslims. That should settle the legal debate, she said.
  • Chief Justice John Roberts, a traditional conservative, largely separated the policy from the president, saying it was easily defensible on its own merits.
  • Justice Anthony Kennedy, a more moderate conservative, ultimately voted with Roberts, but added a brief statement that seemed to criticize Trump’s rhetoric.
  • And all of that added up to a 5-4 decision, along partisan lines, in Trump’s favor.

The issue: Roberts, writing for the majority, said the federal immigration law at issue in this case “exudes deference to the President in every clause.” He detailed the process through which the administration arrived at the most recent version of the policy, and said it was more thorough than past presidents’ uses of the same authority.

  • Trump’s public statements about Muslims have to take a backseat to the reasoning laid out in the policy itself, Roberts said.
  • “The issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements. It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility,” he wrote. “In doing so, we must consider not only the statements of a particular President, but also the authority of the Presidency itself.”

The other side: Sotomayor read out loud at length from her dissent — a sign of particularly strong disagreement.

  • She said the travel ban is still the Muslim ban Trump talked about on the campaign trail, but “now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns,” and accused the majority of “ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.”

Kennedy seemed to criticize Trump’s rhetoric while agreeing that it should not determine the outcome of this case.

  • “There are numerous instances in which the statements and actions of Government officials are not subject to judicial scrutiny or intervention,” he wrote. “That does not mean those officials are free to disregard the Constitution and the rights it proclaims and protects.”

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Go deeper

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks against the coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Driving the news: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, authorities on Florida's Gulf Coast closed parking lots because they were full and there were crowded scenes at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri, per AP, which reports a shooting injured several people at a packed Daytona Beach in Florida.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.