The Trump vs. Hawaii case is dated back to the year 2017 when the then United States of America President Donald Trump signed a presidential order outlining the reasons for the stoppage of entry of seven foreign seven nations into the United States of America for 90 days claiming they were associated with terrorism-related activities (Spiro, 2019). The executive orders were challenged in court, forcing the government to revise them and issue new orders. This essay highlights the various orders signed by President Trump barring some foreign countries’ entry into the US and the various responses given by the Federal district court judges.

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Law to Exclude Foreign Nations

On January 27, 2017, the then United State’s President, Donald Trump, signed a presidential order number 13,769(EO-1). The order outlined the stoppage of entry of seven foreign nations into the United States of America due to terrorism-related activities (Volpp, 2019). The executive order was then disputed in the Federal district court, where the judges disagreed, forcing the government to revise the order and issue a new one (Mallamas, 2020). Trump then gave another order number 13780 (EO-2) sections 2 (c) on March 6, 2017, which directed the six out of the seven foreign nations listed in the first order to continue serving the ban for another 90 days to pave the way for further investigations on linked terrorism. Another section of order 6 (b) compelled the application for the refugee program and admittance of refugees into the US to be banned for 120 days effective that day.

As section 2(c) was about to cease on June 14, Trump again ordered the order to be included in the expiry date of executive order number 2 to allow the government to review the cases and other related issues (Spiro, 2019). The court allowed the government to continue with the bans. Also, the executive order-2 expired on September 24, 2017; Trump further gave another order prohibiting individuals’ travel from the eight nations (Spiro, 2019). The proclamation was also disputed in the federal court, claiming it was overpassing the powers given to the president. The challenge in the federal court made the Supreme Court issue a review of the order.

The Court on Plaintiff Standing To File Lawsuit

The court ruled without a decision outlining the plaintiff’s allegations were legitimate as the proclamation did not infringe the president’s vested powers and the establishment clause. The plaintiff, in this case, was the state of Hawaii and three individuals. According to the ruling, the action went against the Immigration and Nationality Act and enacted guidelines (Spiro, 2019). This led to the federal district court giving a countrywide interim order restricting the implementation of the orders. The court did not agree on whether the federal district court’s global restraining order was unreasonable. Plaintiffs alluded that the primary function of the Proclamation was religion-centered and Muslim nationalities were targeted.

The Court on the President’s Ability to Pass the Law

The court opinion through the majority was drafted by Chief Justice John Roberts, which assessed Hawaii’s allegations, stating that the orders surpassed the executive’s vested powers based on the laws on immigration (Spiro, 2019). Section 1182(f) of the Act stated that the president had enough powers to order a suspension of United States non-citizens from entering the country. The proclamation originated from the global multi-agency review, which outlined that the possible consequences of allowing non-citizens into the Us Would create negative results to the US agendas. It was concluded that the proclamation did not surpass the president’s legislative powers. Section 1152(a) (1) (A) also discouraged discrimination. Still, it did not restrict the president from banning the entry of foreigners into the United States of America because the previous presidents had also executed the same orders.

The majority opinion concurred with the establishment clause claiming the proclamation clause was not partial to any religion. As highlighted, many Muslim countries were not exposed to the bans, while non-Muslim countries were subjected to the bans. This supported the government’s view that the restrictions were not anti-Muslim centered but based on security reasons for the country (Spiro, 2019). Justice Clarence Thomas, who supported the explanations, believed that the federal district courts had minimal powers in issuing global and nationwide injunctions and suggested some regulations of the trends. Justice Stephen Breyer gave a contrary opinion, questioning if the government was using the exception and waiver programs evident from the government claims. He ordered the case to be adjourned, waiting for the resolution of the matter, making the court not reach the Establishment clause claim.


I do not entirely agree with the majority opinion because the decision made in the court regarding the Trump vs Hawaii’s case does not have an impact on any changes in the policy due to overstaying in the Ninth circle and the federal district courts’ policies of foreign nations restriction in November 2017. The court cements the president’s powers of banning foreign entries into the US in section 212(f), citing reasons of threats to the national security of the US. In my opinion, the court appeared illogical in evaluating the claims by the president supporting entry restrictions. The court also suggested the plaintiff could not succeed in the worthiness of the laid establishment claims. The court used a partial basis because the affected individuals were foreigners.


Spiro, P. J. (2019). Trump v. Hawaii. American Journal of International Law113(1), 109-116.

Mallamas, M. L. (2020). American animus: Where Trump v. Hawaii leaves the animus doctrine today. Campbell L. Rev.42, 139.

Volpp, L. (2019). Protecting the Nation from Honor Killings: The Construction of a Problem. Const. Comment., 34, 133.