Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban: How and Why There Can be Different Opinions on the Same Subject


What is the law, is a question people ask for which there frequently is no clear answer.  The Supreme Court allowed the Trump travel.

Click to access 17-965_h315.pdf

More accurately, 5 judges allowed the law, while 4 suggested it be struck down.  And several lower courts found it invalid.  See Washington v Trump,  847 F.3d 1151 (9th Cir. 2017).


Click to access 17-35105.pdf

The decision illustrates several principles,

  • Different courts can see the same law in different ways,
  • Facts can be emphasized in varying ways, and one can look at the various opinions to see how each judge emphasized different facts.
  • Judges have predilections like everyone else, and that can influence their decisions.

Rather than asking what is the law which supposes a clarity and certainly that usually does not exist, ask what are the factor that courts will consider and how will they be weighed.

Couple receiving bad news over phone

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