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In a significant victory for President Donald Trump, the US Supreme Court on Monday (December 4) allowed the newest and amended travel ban of the Trump administration to go into full effect. The ban applies to travellers from six-Muslim majority countries— Iran, Libya, Somalia, Chad, Syria and Yemen along with North Korea and certain government officials from Venezuela.

However, the Trump administration may face legal challenges from the lower courts in the states of Washington and Virginia, as two of the cases arguing against the legality of the travel ban are scheduled to come up this week. The challengers argue that the travel ban goes against the U.S. Constitution. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hold a hearing in Seattle on December 6 whereas the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Virginia will hear its case on December 8.

The lower courts had earlier blocked parts of the Trump’s ban. The courts had said that people who have a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the US, as grandparents, cousins and other relatives should not be kept out of the country.

Donald Trump, soon after talking office had signed an order that temporarily banned all refugees and visitors form Muslim-majority countries. Since the decision faced several legal challenges and also led to chaos at the airport, the Trump administration replaced it with a second order, with some exclusion. The second order which expired in September was replaced by a presidential proclamation restricting people from North Korea and certain government officials from Venezuela, besides the already barred six predominantly Muslim countries.

The law suits filed in lower courts maintain that the new order still discriminates Muslims and is against the country’s Constitution. However, the suits have not challenged the restrictions on Venezuela and North Korea.

—India Legal Bureau

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