The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it would dismiss lawsuits against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugee admissions, on the same day the administration announced it would begin re-admitting refugees under a new screening process, according to ABC News.
The high court’s ruling is a huge win for the Trump administration since, as The Daily Caller reports, the move vacated lower court rulings that said the executive orders were unlawful and could have restricted the president’s authority.
The refugee admissions to the United States resumed on Tuesday after “enhanced vetting” procedures for individuals from 11 countries that were deemed to pose a risk to the United States were put into place. Those nations were not identified publicly by the administration.
“The security of the American people is this administration’s highest priority, and these improved vetting measures are essential for American security,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said, according to CBS News. “These new, standardized screening measures provide an opportunity for the United States to welcome those in need into our country, while ensuring a safer, more secure homeland.”
The Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the case ends a round of litigation over the proposals that began in September, when new executive orders replaced the ones originally issued by the president in March. On Oct. 10, the Supreme Court dismissed a challenge by the state of Maryland to a 90-day ban on migrants from six nations that had already expired. In that ruling, the court ordered the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had upheld an injunction against the ban, to dismiss it as moot.
The most recent case involved a challenge to the 120-day refugee resettlement ban contested by the state of Hawaii in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Again, the Supreme Court mooted the lower court decision.
While The New York Times said that the case “mostly amounted to judicial housekeeping” given the court’s decision on the Maryland case, The Times noted that the way the court decided it meant that the lower court decisions “cannot be used as a precedent.”
Considering only one justice — Obama appointee Sonya Sotomayor — was not in favor of vacating the lower court rulings, that’s a huge victory for the president and his administration. Especially given how large of a role immigration is set to play in the Trump administration, you can bet there were some smiles at the news at 1600 Pennsylvania last night.