ON JANUARY 19th, almost a year after Donald Trump issued his ham-handed initial ban on travel from Muslim countries, the Supreme Court agreed to resolve a challenge to a third, more refined version of that order. The case, Trump v. Hawaii, arises from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, an unfriendly audience for several of Mr Trump’s travel restrictions. (A ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Trump v International Refugee Assistance Project, a similar challenge, is still pending.) The justices have managed to stay mostly on the sidelines of the legal wrangling over Mr Trump’s campaign promise to protect America from terrorism by roping out certain foreigners, but the highest court in the land will now weigh in directly.

The latest version of the travel ban is a few steps removed from the president's campaign-trail call in December 2015 for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on”. The first, hastily…Continue reading