The Supreme Court on Monday decided to uphold part of President Trump’s Travel Ban, according to the Chicago Tribune, allowing the ban to be enacted to some extent while the case moves forward, to be heard in October. The Travel Ban, which was originally written to apply to foreign nationals visiting the United States from seven countries determined by the President to be dangerous, will only apply to six of those countries, as per a second Executive Order, and will only apply to individuals that do not have a sufficient, legitimate connection to U.S. residents or entities.
The Travel Ban, which is set to take effect Thursday morning, will apply fully to foreign nationals that do not have official connections with U.S. residents. There is much debate over what percentage of refugees and visitors this constitutes. Regardless, Trump was in a celebratory mood, tweeting the following.
“Very grateful for the 9-O decision from the U. S. Supreme Court. We must keep America SAFE!”
Among the tense debates of the day lay a more lighthearted one: What is the meaning of Trump’s typo? Does it mean anything?
These speculations mirror those that occurred as a result of Trump’s “covfefe” typo in a Tweet made on May 31: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” According to the Inquisitr, this tweet was later deleted but was followed by a teasing sequel that appeared about seven hours later, and which is still found on the president’s Twitter page, “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’??? Enjoy!”
What Does “9-O” mean?
If President Trump wanted to be grammatically correct, he would have referred to his unanimous Supreme Court Travel Ban victory using only numerals (9-0) but instead, he used the letter “O.” Could this just be a typo? A reference to President Obama? Something else?
Some commentators thought it was a simple typo or technical error, while others felt that it must have been intentional, asking Dilbert comics creator and Trump theorist Scott Adams for his take.
Perhaps some insights can be gleaned by looking at the case itself.
The Supreme Court Decision of Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project
The Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision Monday to go ahead with Trump’s order to ban travel from six Muslim-majority countries which the President has determined to be hotbeds of terrorist activity. Iraq was removed from the original list, which now includes Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Libya. This comes after several battles with lower courts which issued injunctions on the orders, claiming that Trump issued them as a result of anti-Muslim discrimination and not actual national security concerns. Opponents who had this perception often referred to the Travel Ban as a “Muslim Ban.” However, according to Judge Napolitano of Fox News, the Supreme Court has decided to trust the Commander-in-Chief’s determinations of what constitutes a national security interest, giving his intentions the benefit of the doubt.
A key distinction that the Supreme Court drew in their decision on the travel ban was between foreign nationals that have a connection to U.S. residents or entities and those that do not. The Supreme Court stipulated that travel may be allowed if visitors have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” such as a having a close family member that is living in the United States or having been accepted into an American university, which are two examples that were brought up in the course of this long court drama.
The decision makes sure to specify that the foreign national must have a relationship with that entity that is “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO–2,” which means that the relationship must occur naturally and not be manufactured for the purpose of getting around the Executive Order. The per curium decision further explains “a nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion.”
The original executive order, referred to as EO-1 for short and officially entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” (Executive Order No. 13769) was created on January 27 and called for a 90-day travel ban on visitors from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Libya, during which time executive officials were charged with reviewing the current practices relating to visa decisions. It also called for a suspension of the United States Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and a reduction in the number of refugees eligible for admission in the fiscal year 2017, capping the number at 50,000.
After a Federal District Court enjoined several of EO-1’s provisions and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a motion to stay the order pending appeal, Trump revoked EO-1 and issued a brand new order, Executive Order No. 13780 (EO-2) on March 6, which contains similar directives to EO-1, but takes Iraq off of the list of countries from which travel is banned, among other changes.
The Supreme Court essentially decided that national security issues were of paramount concern, explaining,
“To prevent the Government from pursuing that objective by enforcing §2(c) against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.”
Could ‘O’ Refer To Obama?
Former President Barack Obama was a huge critic of President Trump’s Travel Ban, according to U.S. News & World Report. Obama stated that he “fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” taking the Travel Ban as an opportunity to re-enter American political discourse.
Could Trump be mocking Obama with a clever pun? It is possible that the president is using his Twitter account to poke fun at his Supreme Court victory for the Travel Ban that Obama so staunchly opposed, given his history of tweeting jokes about “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary.” For now, we watch and wait.
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]