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United States – SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments Regarding Latest Travel Ban

US–SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments Re: Latest Travel Ban

This report covers the April 25, 2018 case concerning President Trump’s travel ban heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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On April 25, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) heard oral arguments regarding President Trump’s September 2017 Proclamation banning individuals from admission to the United States who are from the following countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea, and some individuals from Venezuela.1  This was the third version of President Trump’s “travel ban” that was put forward as policy in January 2017.  Shortly after the Proclamation was issued, federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked the Proclamation.2  The case from Hawaii is now before SCOTUS.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Currently, due to a SCOTUS decision in December 2017 to allow the ban to take effect,3 nationals of the specified countries are subject to restrictions on travel to the United States, unless otherwise exempt.  The soon-to-be-issued SCOTUS ruling will decide whether people from the specified countries would be able to enter the U.S. for business, academic, or personal reasons without obtaining a waiver. 

Arguments and Next Steps

Based on the oral arguments, a majority of SCOTUS may be prepared to sustain the administration’s authority to impose a travel ban restricting entry into the United States on national security grounds from several predominantly Muslim countries.  At the same time, several of the Court’s justices questioned the solicitor general about the government’s national security claims for the travel ban, asking the solicitor general to explain why the restrictions should not be seen as tainted by religious animus.  

SCOTUS is typically deferential to the executive branch of government in matters of national security.  It appears from the oral arguments that a majority of SCOTUS may not be prepared to find the travel ban unconstitutional.  

SCOTUS is expected to issue its decision in June.  It may make a partial or complete ruling on the matter.  Therefore, SCOTUS may do the following:

  • Uphold the Proclamation – The travel ban would stand, and individuals from the specified countries would not be permitted entry to the U.S., without a waiver.
  • Strike down the Proclamation – If this occurs, the ban would no longer be in effect, and unless the Trump administration takes further action (such as issuing another ban), individuals from the specified countries would be able to enter the United States.
  • Issue a partial judgement – SCOTUS may partially uphold and partially strike down different aspects of the Proclamation.  In that case the ruling would determine how the ban would be implemented, if at all upheld. 

KPMG NOTE

KPMG Law LLP in Canada will continue to monitor the situation, and will endeavor to keep GMS Flash Alert readers informed as developments occur.

FOOTNOTES

Trump v. Hawaii.  See various write-ups on the case heard April 25, 2018 by SCOTUS on SCOTUSblog.com.  For example, see M. Walsh, “A ‘view’ from the courtroom: An audience of luminaries for the final argument of the term.“  As noted on SCOTUSblog.com: The Supreme Court has posted the audio and transcript (PDF 668 KB) of yesterday’s arguments in Trump v. Hawaii

Please note that SCOTUSblog.com is a 3rd party (non-KPMG, non-governmental) website. Providing this link in no way represents an endorsement or a recommendation for this site.

2  For our earlier report, see GMS Flash Alert 2017-181, December 8, 2017.

3  See the Supreme Court’s December 4, 2017 Order (PDF 27.2KB).  Also, to see the Voice of America report, "State Department: US Travel Ban Fully Implemented," December 8, 2017, click here

Please note that the latter is a 3rd party (non-KPMG, non-governmental) website. Providing this link in no way represents an endorsement or a recommendation for this site.

* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.   

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.

© 2018 KPMG LLP, a Canada limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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