April 25 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court will review Donald Trump’s travel ban Wednesday.
Trump has said the travel ban, which he called a “watered-down” version of a similar first effort, is necessary to protect the country from terrorism. Lower courts have three times ruled against the proclamation, the latest in February when a federal appeals court said the ban is unlawful because it targets Muslim.
But the U.S. Supreme Court has placed a hold on lower court rulings, allowing the ban to kick in until it carries out its review.
The executive order prevented travelers entering the U.S. from several countries, six of which are majority Muslim — Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The latest version of the order also forbid entry for people from North Korea and Venezuela. In April, U.S. officials allowed Chad residents to again seek travel visas to the U.S.
The state of Hawaii, the lead challenger in the case, argues the travel ban violates federal immigration law and the U.S. Constitution’s ban on the government favoring one religion over another. Other plaintiffs include individuals who argue they have been prevented from reuniting with relatives who have applied for visas from one of the affected countries.
The plaintiffs say they have evidence of unconstitutional bias from Trump’s statements and tweets.
The Trump administration argues the proclamation, which follows a careful worldwide review, lists countries because of national security risk factors.