In a series of extraordinary legal decisions Tuesday, the Supreme Court has upheld President Trump’s so-called Muslim travel ban, while a federal judge in California has ruled immigration officials must stop separating immigrant children from their parents at the border and must reunite all parents and children within 30 days. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to uphold Trump’s travel ban, which prohibits people from entering the United States from five majority-Muslim countries—Iran, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Somalia—as well as people from North Korea and some government officials from Venezuela. In a scathing dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor condemned the ban as “harrowing” and said it was “motivated by hostility and animus toward the Muslim faith.” She also said the decision to uphold the ban involved “ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.” After the ruling was announced, protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court to condemn the decision. This is Darakshan Raja, founder of the Justice for Muslims Collective.
Darakshan Raja: “No court decides the parameters of our community’s humanity. We will continue to resist. We will continue to fight. And for the American people and for our allies and accomplices: It is also your role to help us overturn the legality of these decisions. We know that they’re inhumane. We know that they are racist. We know that they’re discriminatory. We cannot allow for these decisions to be upheld. So, please, we’re asking for your solidarity, to stand with us in this particular moment.”
That was Darakshan Raja, founder of the Justice for Muslims Collective.
Hours after the Supreme Court issued its ruling upholding the so-called Muslim travel ban, Federal Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego ruled immigration officials must stop separating immigrant children from their parents at the border and that migrant children already separated must be reunited with their parents. The ruling says all children under the age of 5 must be reunited with their parents within 14 days, and all children 5 and older must be reunited with their parents within 30 days. The ruling does not require the Trump administration to stop prosecuting people for crossing the border. More than 2,000 children remain separated from their parents, jailed in detention centers across the country. Immigration advocates are warning the Trump administration has no clear plan for how to reunite them with their parents, some of whom have already been deported. On Tuesday, hundreds protested Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s visit to Los Angeles. Twenty-five protesters, including clergy members, were arrested outside a federal courthouse Sessions was visiting. Young mothers and their children also protested Sessions’ speech to the Criminal Justice Foundation’s annual luncheon. This is protester Nicole Sabourian.
Nicole Sabourian: “I have an 18-month-old, and imagining these kids separated from their families is just more than anything I can fathom. And it’s terrorism. It’s torture. … And I can’t do that much, but I can show up, is all that I can do as a mother of a toddler.”
We’ll have more on these two rulings later in the broadcast.
In another important decision Tuesday, the Supreme Court has ruled 5 to 4 that California cannot require so-called crisis pregnancy centers to supply women with information about how to end their pregnancies. The court ruled on behalf of the anti-abortion pregnancy centers on free speech grounds. There are over 2,500 so-called crisis pregnancy centers across the country, including some that are unlicensed. In response to the ruling, the group NARAL Pro-Choice America said, “Fake women’s health centers, with the rest of the well-funded and well-connected anti-choice movement, have been working towards this moment for decades. They have carefully put the pieces together—passing radical and unconstitutional abortion bans, stacking the lower courts—because they are counting on Trump’s Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade. Roe is at greater risk than ever before.”
In Syria, tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing a Syrian government offensive on the southern province of Daraa. The United Nations says 45,000 people have been displaced over the last week. Dozens of civilians have also reportedly been killed.
In Yemen, a new report says the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition was responsible for more than half of all child deaths last year. The Children and Armed Conflict report says the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for the deaths of at least 370 children last year. The report comes as the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition continues its offensive on Yemen’s key port city of Hodeidah, which the United Nations has warned will worsen the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
Back in the United States, voters went to the polls for primary elections in seven states Tuesday: New York, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Carolina. In a stunning upset and the biggest surprise of the primary election so far this year, 28-year-old Puerto Rican Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat out 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in New York. Crowley is the fourth-ranking Democrat, who had been regularly floated as a potential speaker of the House. He’d outraised Ocasio-Cortez by at least 10 to 1, yet Ocasio-Cortez defeated Crowley in a stunning upset, after running a progressive grassroots campaign advocating for “Medicare for All” and the abolition of ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Meanwhile, in Maryland, former NAACP President Ben Jealous won the Democratic primary for governor on a progressive platform that includes free college, the legalization of marijuana and a $15-an-hour statewide minimum wage. Jealous will now face Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan in November’s general election. And in other primary results, Republican Mitt Romney won his Senate primary in Utah.
And accused NSA whistleblower Reality Winner has pleaded guilty to retaining and transmitting a document to a news organization after reaching a deal with the U.S. government to serve a 5-year prison sentence. Winner had faced up to 10 years in prison on charges she violated the Espionage Act by leaking a top-secret document to The Intercept about Russian interference in the 2016 election. She’s been imprisoned for the last year at the Lincoln County Jail in Georgia, where The Intercept reports Winner has been struggling with depression and an eating disorder. Click here to see all our coverage of Reality Winner’s case.