President Donald Trump kicked off the holiday season by retweeting racist, anti-Muslim videos on Wednesday, which garnered the praise of David Duke, former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Trump's sentiment continued on Monday through the Supreme Court, which cosigned on his travel ban that targets people from six Muslim-majority countries.
The court, except for two dissenting justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — granted his administration's request to lift two injunctions imposed by lower courts that partially blocked the ban.
It's the third version of a controversial policy that Trump first sought to implement a week after taking office in January. The ban is being referred to as "Muslim Ban 3.0" by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The court's ruling means Muslim Ban 3.0 can be enforced while it is being litigated. It is a win for the Trump administration, making good on his campaign promises to his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant supporters. But it's only a temporary victory. The court could still find the ban unconstitutional at a later date.
The ban will now go fully into effect for people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen seeking to enter the United States.
North Korea and Venezuela have travel restrictions as well. However, in September, an administration official acknowledged that the number of North Koreans now traveling to the U.S. was very low, according to Reuters. Restrictions on Venezuela apply to that country's leaders and their families.
Lower courts had said people from the banned nations "with a claim of a 'bona fide' relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country," according to TIME magazine. "Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded."
The ACLU, which has been fighting the travel ban in the lower courts, condemned the decision in a tweet using the hashtag #NoMuslimBanEver:
To Muslims in the United States, those kept apart from loved ones by the ban, and everyone who cherishes religious equality, we stand with you. We continue to fight for freedom and equality and for those who are unfairly being separated from their loved ones. #NoMuslimBanEver
— ACLU (@ACLU) December 4, 2017
The organization is also circulating a petition to "immediately pass legislation to rescind the illegal and unconstitutional Muslim ban."
Craig Considine, a lecturer at Rice University, is the author of several books on Muslims in the West.
Considine tweeted that white supremacy is fueling the travel ban:
The #TravelBan ruling (aka #MuslimBan) by the Supreme Court is the latest in the US's inhumane immigration policies: Chinese Exclusion Act, Asiatic Barred Zone, 1921/1924 Quota Acts, etc. None of these policies have been about security. They're about maintaining White Supremacy.
— Dr. Craig Considine (@CraigCons) December 4, 2017
Considine told The New York Times last week that Trump re-tweeting the inflammatory anti-Muslim videos was an attempt to promote intolerance of Muslims in Western countries and build a case for forcing them out.
"He's playing on this fear, whipping up the fear," Considine said. "It is completely reckless."
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Monday that the Supreme Court's decision was not surprising.
"We are not surprised by today's Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the president's proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism," Gidley said in a statement.
"The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts."
CAIR was established in 1994 to challenge stereotypes of Islam and Muslims. The majority of its work deals with civil rights and anti-defamation.
Lena Masri, the organization's national litigation director, said human consequences weren't considered in the Supreme Court's decision.
"This decision ignores the very real human consequences to American citizens and their families abroad imposed by President Trump's Muslim Ban 3.0," Masri said.