Protesters outside the Supreme Court Wednesday demonstrate against President Donald Trump's travel ban, deemed a "Muslim ban" my critics, which is to be ruled on by the end of the day.
"If you look at what was done, it does not look at all like a Muslim ban", Alito said.
Dozens of amicus (friend of the court) briefs were filed in support of the state's case, representing a wide swath of American life, including civil rights organizations, religious organizations, universities, cities, other states, former national security officials and numerous law professors, among others. An eighth country, Chad, was removed from the list earlier this month. That decision is expected by June.
Kennedy offered his own hypothetical concern about a candidate who might express hateful statements, and then "takes acts that are consistent with those hateful statements".
The president's executive order faced a losing streak in multiple lower courts since he issued it a week after taking office, forcing the White House to change the order's wording two times.
"You're saying that everything he said is irrelevant?"
The Trump administration is arguing that the ban is in the best interest of USA national security, while critics say the move is discriminatory because it impacts mostly Muslim countries.
MR. KATYAL: Our statutory point to you is that ifyou accept this order, you're giving the president a power no president in 100 years has exercised, an executive proclamation that countermands Congress's policy judgments.He has zero examples to say that when Congress has stepped into the space and solved the exact problem, that the president can then come in and say: No, I want a different solution.
Every time Trump passes a legal test with these orders, someone brings another legal action and finds a liberal judge who's willing to "strike down" Trump's perfectly legal action, forcing the matter to go all the way to the Supreme Court before we get the inevitable re-assertion that, yes, President Trump has the same authority as all other presidents and he is allowed to use it.
"The big picture is that far fewer Muslim refugees immigrants and foreign visitors are coming to the United States", said David Bier, an immigration analyst at the Cato Institute, who's been tracking a steep decline in immigration from Muslim countries. "Would a reasonable observer think this is a Muslim ban?"
More information about the case can be found on the Supreme Court's docket, which is free and available to the public online. Sanders says if the ban were eliminated, "the United States may be forced to unsuspectingly allow unsafe criminals or terrorists into the country".
In an exchange with Hawaii's lawyer, Neal Katyal, Kennedy indicated it was not practical for a president to predict that six months after the ban was announced there will be a "safe world".
The current version of the travel ban, which could affect almost 150 million people, prevents entry for most immigrants and travelers from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. "This is an out-of-the-box kind of president in my hypothetical", she said, to laughter.
Chief Justice John Roberts questioned whether, under the plaintiff's argument, any targeted action against a majority-Muslim country could be seen as discriminatory.
"We don't have those, your honor", the solicitor general answered back.
Kennedy added: Do courts have the obligation to review whether there's a national emergency that justifies that presidential leeway?
Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, wondered if the administration's global review was just window dressing to hide Trump's previous disparaging remarks about Muslims.