The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional a ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, citing the president’s claim that the order is necessary to protect Americans from terrorism.
In a 5-4 ruling, the court upheld a lower court ruling that temporarily blocked the ban on the grounds that it violated the 14th Amendment, which prohibits the federal government from “denying any person within the United States the equal protection of the laws.”
The court ruled that the 14-year-old ban was unconstitutional because it imposed a substantial burden on the ability of citizens to travel abroad and that the president had not provided sufficient evidence that it would be in the national interest to do so.
The court said the ban was intended to prevent potential terrorists from traveling to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and that “the existence of an existing threat that would compromise the national security of the United Nations or our allies” justifies its inclusion in the order.
Trump announced in December that the United State would temporarily halt immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.
In a Jan. 27 tweet, he said the countries affected were “the primary sources of terrorists” and said that it is the U.S. “duty to stop them.”
In the past, Trump has said that the countries singled out by his order are “bad places to come” and have become havens for terrorism.
The president has also suggested that the ban could be lifted if the U,S.
and its allies were able to establish a no-fly zone over Syria.
On Friday, Trump tweeted that the U.,S.
military is “working on an emergency plan to remove the current ban from the air,” saying, “the only way it will be lifted is if the UN Security Council agrees to do what is required.
In response, the State Department said it was working to “ensure the safety of our diplomats and other U.N. personnel who may be at risk” if the ban were to be lifted.
The State Department also said it would provide additional resources to help U.K. and French diplomats prepare for the ban’s implementation.
The State Department was also in talks with other U,N.
agencies and with European nations to identify “other countries” that could take in refugees, but it said there were no concrete plans to offer such help.
The Trump administration said it is reviewing the ruling and is “committed to working closely with Congress and our allies to make sure this important step is taken to protect the safety and security of our citizens and visitors to the U.”