The Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.
The 5-4 decision Tuesday is the court’s first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.
Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration.
The court may have signaled its eventual approval in December when the justices allowed the policy to take full effect even as the court fight continued and lower courts had ruled it out of bounds.
The policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
It also affects two non-Muslim countries: blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families.
A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving “its identity-management and information sharing practices,” Trump said in a proclamation.
The administration had pointed to the Chad decision to show that the restrictions are premised only on national security concerns.
Trump tweeted his happiness with the opinion shortly after it was released.
SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2018