Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Minnesota's Muslim community reacts to U.S. Supreme Court travel ban decision

Minnesota's Muslim community reacts to U.S. Supreme Court travel ban decision

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said on Wednesday he plans to retire after three decades as a pivotal vote on the highest US judicial body, giving President Donald Trump an opportunity to make the court more firmly conservative.

Kennedy, 81, has served on the court since 1988.

By picking a social conservative to replace Kennedy, Trump would have a reliable 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court, even on some of those hot-button social issues.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, U.S., October 3, 2016. A Supreme Court vacancy is a much-welcomed jolt as Republicans seek to galvanize core voters in states crucial to their chances - those in which Trump won by double digits and a Democratic senator faces reelection.

We'll have more on these two rulings later in the broadcast. The President went on to tweet: "People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!" "Today's Supreme Court ruling on his travel ban is a vindication of the president, his Administration and the will of the American people".

"Justice Kennedy's dedication to the law led him to a career of distinguished service to his country". Although Kennedy is certainly not a moderate on many issues, his willingness to vote with both wings of the court made him the court's median justice during every term since 2005. He has written all the court's major gay-rights decisions, including the 2015 ruling that declared same-sex marriage is a constitutional right nationwide.

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Trump has also filled a record-breaking number of seats on the influential federal appeals courts - appointing 21 judges in total - with the enthusiastic backing of the Senate, which votes to confirm them. Kennedy on Tuesday joined the court's four other conservatives in giving Trump a huge legal victory by upholding the Republican president's travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries. They said the orders were illegal because they targeted Muslims.

Speaking to reporters during an Oval Office meeting with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Trump said he would draw from a list of 25 potential court candidates that his campaign had assembled during his presidential run.

Mr Trump has said the policy is needed to protect the country against attacks by Islamic militants.

Trump has announced that he will choose Kennedy's successor from the shortlist of 25 contenders that he made public during the campaign and updated past year. Kennedy concurred with the majority, allowing the ban to stand and finding no evidence of anti-Muslim animus in the official presidential Proclamation that bars entry to residents of six predominantly-Muslim nations and some Venezuelans.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who served as the vice chairman of Trump's transition team, told Fox: "When he first announced it, he said "Muslim ban".

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