Political News

Democrats upset with Supreme Court upholding travel ban

Posted June 26, 2018 11:02 a.m. EDT

— While the White House is celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Donald Trump's travel ban, Democrats are angry at the idea of a policy they say runs contrary to fundamental US values.

"I think it's clear that the history of this travel ban is one that is not to credit of the United States," Dick Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, told CNN. "First, the President came out with a travel ban, which had to be rewritten at least one time, maybe twice and the net result of it sadly was to suggest that when it came to countries with large Muslim populations, they weren't welcome in the United States."

The Illinois senator continued: "We need to keep out every dangerous person who tries to come in this country, but to categorically brand people because of their religion or their background or country they're from is just not the way we should do things in America."

He acknowledged that regardless of his unhappiness with the decision, he doesn't see Congress doing anything to overturn it.

"Of course, I don't agree with the Supreme Court ruling but I'm a realist when it comes to legislation on the floor of the Senate and the House," he told CNN. "It's doubtful that anything is going to move forward."

Unlike Durbin, however, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons said in a statement he plans to introduce legislation "to make clear that in the United States, we will not tolerate discrimination based on religion or nationality, and I invite everyone who treasures our American values to join me in defending them."

"The President's travel ban is not only discriminatory and counterproductive; it stands in direct contrast to the principles embedded in our Constitution and our founders' vision of a nation where all people are free to worship as they choose," said Coons, who's a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut was also more hopeful.

"There is no question," he said when asked about a reversal in the ruling. "There has to be legislation to protect our essential liberties, our image around the world which is very much at risk and at stake here. The Congress now has work to do. It cannot simply allow the courts to determine ... what our future is in this area."

The ruling sends a strong message that the President has broad powers under immigration law to act to protect national security and that statements made during a campaign may not be legally determinative of an executive's intent.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker argued that if the ban was really about the safety of the country, "it would be a different list of countries."

"We need to reclaim our values. It's not partisan values," he said. "We just cannot walk away from the fact of how this all started, which was a President that said he wanted to ban Muslims from our country."

This story is breaking and will be updated.