In what was seen as at least a partial victory for President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court ruled today that his travel ban—which has raised concerns from the medical community—can take effect for people from six Muslim-majority countries if they have no ties to the United States.
The High Court said it will hear arguments in the case in October, which leaves open the option that it could reverse today’s opinion if challengers can show the ban is illegal or unconstitutional, according to news reports.
In the meantime, the Supreme Court agreed to let Trump’s 90-day immigration travel ban go into effect for some people, reversing the actions of lower federal courts that had put the controversial policy completely on hold, according to the Associated Press.
A number of healthcare organizations had asked the court not to issue a stay of the injunctions that blocked it. Healthcare leaders have said the travel ban could have a detrimental impact on an industry that depends on foreign doctors and medical students to staff hospitals, clinics and research labs.
The court is letting the Trump administration mostly enforce the ban, but did leave protections in place for people "with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," according to The New York Times. The ban applies to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Under the court’s ruling, foreigners with ties or relationships in the United States would not be prohibited from entering the country, the newspaper said. Those applying for visas who had never been here or had no family, business or other ties could be prohibited.
In a statement on the White House website, Trump said he was particularly gratified by the unanimous vote of the Supreme Court, which he said will allow him to help keep the American people safe. "Today's unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security," Trump said. "It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective. As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive."
Trump issued a revised executive order in March, which limited travel from those six countries for 90 days and suspended the country’s refugee program for 120 days to give the U.S. time to address gaps in the government’s screening and vetting procedures.
Doctors from those six banned countries already provide care to millions of Americans, especially in Rust Belt states and Appalachia, according to one analysis.