NV Independent: Heller praises SCOTUS decision upholding Trump's travel, while Democrats condemn it

Jun 27, 2018
In The News

The Supreme Court gave President Donald Trump a major victory Tuesday when the justices ruled that his latest travel ban was constitutional—a move the drew the ire of Nevada’s congressional Democrats, but the praise of Sen. Dean Heller.

“Sen. Heller believes that the Supreme Court got this right,” the Nevada Republican’s office said in a statement to KNRV in Reno. “The policy reviewed was significantly narrowed in scope compared to the initial version of the travel ban, and the court’s ruling affirmed its legality based on legitimate national security interests.”

The office of Rep. Mark Amodei, also a Republican, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation were disappointed with the court’s ruling and were highly critical of the president’s policy that banned migrants from eight countries, including six Muslim-majority nations, from entering the U.S.

“This decision flies in the face of our nation’s founding principle of religious freedom,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in a release. “President Trump’s Muslim Ban is in direct opposition to American principles and sends yet another prejudiced message to Muslim-Americans, refugees and immigrants.”

The court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that the president has broad discretion under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States and used the power legally in implementing the travel ban.

According to the opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, “The President lawfully exercised that discretion based on his findings—following a worldwide, multi-agency review—that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest. And plaintiffs’ attempts to identify a conflict with other provisions in the INA, and their appeal to the statute’s purposes and legislative history, fail to overcome the clear statutory language.”

The court also was not convinced that the ban violates Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from favoring any religion.   

Rep. Dina Titus argued that the ruling does not protect the nation from terrorism as intended by the travel ban.

“Today’s decision upholds a misguided xenophobic ban that does nothing to make us safer,” Titus said in a release. “Banning the people of an entire religion from immigrating to the U.S. is a betrayal of our nation’s founding principles of religious freedom and tolerance.”

Rep. Jacky Rosen believes that the court’s decision does not jibe with American values.

“Denying individuals entry to the U.S. based solely on religion or nationality is wrong and out of touch with our American values,” Rosen said. “This travel ban won’t help keep us safe.”

Rep. Ruben Kihuen contends that the ruling and policy lower the nation’s standing in the world.

“Today the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s racist and discriminatory Muslim Ban which further erodes our leadership position in the world and is just another example of the Trump Administration tearing families apart,” Kihuen said in a release. “The United States is made stronger every day through our diversity.”