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Trump v. Hawaii

United States Supreme Court
138 S. Ct. 2392 (2018)



President Donald Trump (defendant) signed an executive order suspending the entry of foreign nationals from seven countries for 90 days. Each country had been previously identified by Congress or prior administrations as posing heightened terrorism risks. A federal district court entered a temporary restraining order blocking the restrictions. In response, the President signed a similar executive order, which was also challenged in court. Several district courts issued preliminary injunctions barring enforcement of the entry suspension. The appeals courts upheld the injunctions. The Supreme Court granted certiorari. The temporary restrictions expired before the Court could act, so the Court vacated the lower decisions as moot. President Trump then ordered federal agencies to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of every country’s compliance with the United States’s risk-assessment baseline. Based on this evaluation, the President issued a proclamation seeking to improve vetting procedures by identifying deficiencies in the information needed to assess whether nationals from particular countries presented public-safety threats. The proclamation placed entry restrictions on the nationals of eight foreign countries. The countries were selected by the President because their systems for managing and sharing information about their nationals were deemed inadequate. The State of Hawaii (plaintiff) brought suit, arguing that the proclamation violated provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act (the act). Hawaii also argued that the proclamation violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because it was motivated by animus toward Islam. The trial court granted a nationwide preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the entry restrictions. The appeals court affirmed the decision. The case was then brought before the Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)

Concurrence (Thomas, J.)

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)

Dissent (Breyer, J.)

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