Washington, D.C. (Fox News) — All eyes are on Justice Neil Gorsuch as a major constitutional challenge to one of President Trump’s most controversial initiatives — the so-called travel ban — comes before the Supreme Court.
Trump’s own nominee to the court could prove key with oral arguments scheduled for Wednesday.
At issue, in part, is whether the third and latest version of Trump’s travel ban, affecting visitors from six majority Muslim nations, discriminates on the basis of nationality and religion. Given the high public interest, the court is modifying its usual policy and will release audio of the session soon after its conclusion.
The controversy pits an administration that considers the restrictions necessary for Americans’ security against challengers who claim it is illegally aimed at Muslims — and stems from Trump’s campaign call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the U.S.
The case will be the first significant legal test so far of the president’s administration and could lead to a precedent-setting ruling on the limits of executive power, especially within the immigration context.
“This is a very difficult issue for the Supreme Court,” said Thomas Dupree, a former top Bush Justice Department official. “In many ways, it’s a political judgment — who is allowed into this country — and historically the court has been very reluctant to tread into areas where it could be viewed as making a political judgment that is properly confined to the executive.”