The travel ban sought by Pres. Donald Trump on seven Middle Eastern and African nations has prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court with a 5-4 ruling.
Washington Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, had joined the lawsuit to block the travel ban which was brought by the state of Hawaii.
The 5-4 ruling, with the court’s five conservatives in the majority, ends for now a fierce fight in the courts over whether the policy represented an unlawful Muslim ban. Trump can now claim vindication after lower courts had blocked his travel ban announced in September, as well as two prior versions, in legal challenges brought by the state of Hawaii and others.
The court held that the challengers had failed to show that the ban violates either U.S. immigration law or the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment prohibition on the government favoring one religion over another.
Chief Justice John Roberts issued the opinion, supported by the court's other four conservatives. He said entry restrictions were limited to countries previously designated by Congress or prior administrations as posing national security risks. And he noted that it followed a worldwide review process by several government agencies.
"The proclamation is squarely within the scope of presidential authority," the chief justice said. He added that claims of religious bias against Muslims did not hold up against "a sufficient national security justification." However, he said, "We express no view on the soundness of the policy."