WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) chose a wordless photo to express his reaction to today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding President Trump’s travel ban from several Muslim-majority nations.
In the image tweeted by his campaign account, McConnell, who blocked Supreme Court hearings for President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, is moving in to shake hands with Justice Neil Gorsuch.
— Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch) June 26, 2018
“As one after another 5-4 rulings of this SCOTUS on voting rights, abortion rights, the travel ban and more are announced, the full meaning of @SenMajLdr ‘s unconscionable, nearly year- long blockade against the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland is manifest,” tweeted former Obama advisor David Axelrod.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters at a press conference today that he wanted to review the ruling before commenting.
The 5-4 decision focused on Trump v. Hawaii, which involved the state’s lawsuit to block the ban on travel from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. It was the third iteration of the ban, dropping Iraq and Chad from the list.
Hawaii had argued that the ban, coming after Trump’s campaign statement vowing to block Muslims from entering the nation, was motivated by religious discrimination instead of national security.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who penned the opinion for the majority, said the ban is “expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) countered in a statement that “the president’s travel ban doesn’t make us safer, and the Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t make it right.”
“This is a backward and un-American policy that fails to improve our national security,” he said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the ruling “dangerous,” charging in a tweet that it “undermines our values, our security, & our Constitution.”
“No matter how many times @realDonaldTrump rewrites his #MuslimBan, it remains one of the great injustices of our time,” she added.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), though, argued that the ruling was “a huge victory for President Trump’s plan to secure the border and strengthen our national security by keeping terrorists out of America.”
“President Trump’s common sense policy banning unvetted travel from nations with a history of serious problems stopping terrorism does just that, and is a strong step in the right direction for our country’s national security after years of open borders and weakness under the Obama administration,” Scalise said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the court “sided with fear, racism and xenophobia and against the American ideals of religious freedom and tolerance.”
“The Trump administration’s travel ban was never about keeping America safe. We need only look at Trump’s own words to understand that this has always been a racist and anti-Islamic attempt to ban Muslims from entering this country,” he added. “America loses when we become divided by religion, race, national origin or sexual orientation. We are stronger when we come together.”