After nearly 15 months of legal battles, Supreme Court justices finally appear poised to endorse President Donald Trump's third and most narrow travel ban.
Lower courts have struck down each of the three versions of Trump's travel ban, the first of which was issued just after he took office in January of 2017. The first iterations of the ban were criticized for their tendency to ban citizens in Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
This new version initially restricted travel from eight countries—Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela, and North Korea—six of which were predominantly Muslim. Chad was recently removed from the list.
"This is not a so-called Muslim ban," Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco, representing the Trump administration, said in Supreme Court oral arguments. "If it were, it would be the most ineffective Muslim ban that one could possibly imagine," he said, because it excluded "the vast majority of the Muslim world."
In a majority conservative court, it's more likely that justices could approve Trump's latest ban. However, justices are considering inflammatory statements that Trump made toward Muslims during his campaign, and how much weight they ought to give to the statements in final opinions.