Daily Video

July 3, 2018

Study guide: Supreme Court ruling on the travel ban

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Watch the video segment on the Trump administration’s travel ban here. For the sake of time, we recommend you stop the video at 3m:09s.

Video summary
  • In a 5-4 decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenges to President Donald Trump’s third travel ban — aimed at mostly Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The ban also affects two non-Muslim countries: North Korea and certain Venezuelan government officials.
  • Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. Roberts rejected the plaintiff’s claim of anti-Muslim bias but was also careful not to endorse Trump’s provocative statements about immigration, particularly those aimed at Muslims.
  • In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that based on the evidence in the case “a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus.” She said her colleagues were “ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.”
  • As Trump praised the ruling, politicians and activists outside the court denounced the decision.
Discussion questions
  1. Essential question: Why is the Supreme Court’s decision on the travel ban controversial?
  2. What are the countries included in the travel ban?
  3. What was the main argument that the Administration used in instituting the ban?
  4. How does a case make it all the way to the Supreme Court? Why were the first two bans struck down by the lower courts? Why did the President decide to withdraw the first ban?
  5. What comments has Trump made about Muslims? If you are not sure, how could you find out?
  6. What factors should the President consider when keeping certain people out of the country, if any?
  7. Why would discriminating against a person based on their religion be seen as unconstitutional?
  8. Do you agree with the travel ban? Why or why not?
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