BUFFALO, N.Y. — Nearly 18 months after the president touched off a firestorm by signing an executive order that banned travelers from several countries, including six Muslim-majority nations, the United States Supreme Court is upholding the move. In a 5 to 4 decision, the court ruled the president's move was made in the interest of national security.
"It was a shock because I thought the Supreme Court would display better judgment. But the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court, so they have put a legal stamp on it," said Faizan Haq, president of WNY Muslims.
Haq believes the ruling will a have a devastating effect on families.
"It will separate families, people will not be able to travel, people will not be able to meet their loved ones," said Haq.
He also believes the move could trigger another humanitarian crisis.
"The people who are, let’s suppose their visa are approved, they're set to go, they're sitting in refugee camps and suddenly they cannot move and they've been vetted through the process," he said. "It doesn't take that into consideration. So there's a lot of ambiguity and there's a panic right now."
"To be perfectly honest, the outcome was not unexpected but the breadth of the court's opinion and the implications were actually quite troubling," said Rick Su, a law professor at the University at Buffalo.
He says the ruling does raise some constitutional concerns about presidential authority to rewrite immigration policy.
"It may go against what Congress has actually stipulated with regard to who can come in and who cannot," he said. "The First Amendment component is troubling as well because it seems to exempt a lot of the things that the president would do from judicial review even when it goes against the Constitution, even though it may raise a constitutional concern with regard to the First Amendment."
Three versions of the president's travel ban were rejected by lower courts before it was heard by the Supreme Court.