NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court adjourned for the summer Monday, but not before it handed a victory to President Donald Trump.
The high court announced it will review the president’s travel ban on citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, and allows the Trump administration to mostly enforce the president’s executive order while the legal battle continues.
The Supreme Court is allowing a limited version of the travel ban to go forward, and it will go into effect Thursday morning. The court will allow the Trump administration mostly to enforce the executive order while the legal battle continues.
“The court would only have granted this, they would only have allowed most of the travel ban to go into place if it thinks that at this point without fully briefing and argument the government is likely to succeed,” said Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Supreme Court Review.
The 90-day ban would apply to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Those people will not be allowed to come into the United States unless they have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” CBS News’ Weijia Jiang reported.
The court says close family members, workers and students will be allowed without formal documentation.
The Trump administration said the travel ban was needed during an internal review of the screening process for people of those countries.
The travel ban sparked massive protests and lawsuits, all of which the Trump administration lost until now. The court said it will hear arguments in the case in October when it reconvenes.
The White House called the ruling “a clear victory for national security.” And when Trump himself was asked how he felt about the ruling, he replied, “Very good, thank you — very good.”
But opponents said the ban is unlawful based on visitors’ Muslim religion. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was among those to speak out against the ruling, via Twitter.
In response to the high court ruling, protesters gathered at Columbus Circle and marched to Trump Tower.
“It has nothing to do with national security; nothing to do with protecting Americans,” one protester said. “It has everything to do with demonizing Muslims and immigrants.”
Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after being cleared by the court.
The action Monday is a victory for Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.
The justices said Monday they will consider whether a baker who objects to same-sex marriage on religious grounds can refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The case asks the high court to balance the religious rights of the baker against the couple’s right to equal treatment under the law. Similar disputes have popped up across the United States.
In another case, the court ruled that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other non-religious needs. The justices on Monday ruled 7-2 in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri. The church sought a grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground, but was denied any money even though its application was ranked fifth out of 44 submissions.
Chief Justice John Roberts said for the court that it “is odious to our Constitution” to exclude the church from the grant program. Roberts said that’s true even though the consequences are only “a few extra scraped knees.”
Meanwhile, there are rumors swirling that Justice Anthony Kennedy could announce his retirement.
The 80-year-old is considered the “swing vote” on the court. If he retires, President Trump could make an appointment that would create a conservative majority.
Kennedy turns 81 next month and has been on the court for nearly 30 years. Several of his former law clerks have said they think he is contemplating stepping down in the next year or so. Kennedy did not address the retirement rumors when he and his clerks gathered over the weekend for a reunion, according to three clerks who were there.
The decision to push up the reunion by a year helped spark talk he might be leaving the court.
Meantime Monday, it was another busy morning on Twitter for President Trump as he accused former President Barack Obama of collusion or obstruction.
On Friday, the Washington Post reported the Obama administration knew the Russian government was interfering in the election in August, but did not make it public until Oct. 7.
They also had intelligence confirming that the Russian goal was to defeat Hillary Clinton.
Former President Obama’s spokesman said the “situation was taken extremely seriously, as is evident by President Obama raising this issue directly with President Putin.”
Former Obama administration officials reportedly said they failed to act sooner because they did not want to be seen as interfering in the election, on the side of Clinton.
The Trump administration is also trying to figure out the best way to approach a potential Trump/Putin meeting when the two are in Germany next month for a summit.
Some Trump advisors believe the U.S. needs to maintain its distance from Russia especially during the investigation into Russian meddling of the presidential campaign.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)