- The Washington Times - Friday, January 19, 2018

The Supreme Court said Friday it will take up the latest version of President Trump’s travel ban, and in particular asked to hear arguments on whether the president showed illegal animosity toward Muslims.

The third iteration of the travel ban, announced in September, places restrictions on a number of countries that the administration deems too uncooperative in information-sharing to allow their citizens entry to the U.S.

Lower courts have ruled parts of the policy illegal — and some of those courts have said Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric and comments as president show he has “animus” toward Muslims.

The justices, in their order, specifically asked both sides to present arguments on the religious aspect of the case.

The case is Trump v. Hawaii.

“We have always known this case would ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court,” said Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin. “This will be an important day for justice and the rule of law. We look forward to the Court hearing the case.”

In taking the case this term, the court makes it likely it will issue its ruling by the end of June, when the justices break for the summer.

The justices briefly grappled in June with the second version of the travel ban. In that ruling they delivered a partial spanking to lower-court judges who’d blocked the policy, saying the president deserved some deference in national security decisions, but foreigners with genuine ties to the U.S. — such as admission to a school, or family already here — also had rights.

Mr. Trump in September issued a third version of the ban after a long deliberative process that rewrote the list of countries targeted. The current list is Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen

In December, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the third ban illegal.

But the Supreme Court has allowed the policy to remain in place even as the challenges proceeded through the lower courts.

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