Dem senator to introduce anti-discrimination bill after Supreme Court upholds travel ban

Dem senator to introduce anti-discrimination bill after Supreme Court upholds travel ban
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Biden faces scrutiny for his age from other Democrats Democrats press FBI for details on Kavanaugh investigation MORE (D-Del.) said on Tuesday that he will introduce anti-discrimination legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE's travel ban.

"In the coming weeks, I plan to introduce legislation to make clear that in the United States, we will not tolerate discrimination based on religion or nationality, and I invite everyone who treasures our American values to join me in defending them," Coons said in a statement, adding that despite the Supreme Court ruling, the travel ban doesn't reflect "America's values."

A spokesman for Coons didn't respond to a request for comment about whether the bill will target the administration's travel ban or discrimination more broadly.

"The President’s travel ban is not only discriminatory and counterproductive; it stands in direct contrast to the principles embedded in our Constitution and our founders’ vision of a nation where all people are free to worship as they choose," Coons said.

The Supreme Court upheld the ban on nationals from five Muslim-majority countries entering the United States in a 5-4 ruling Tuesday.

In a majority opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said the president has broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States.

The move sparked immediate backlash from Democrats, who say the travel ban is discriminatory and contrary to the country's values.

"Discriminating against individuals based on their religion or country of origin without evidence that the person poses a national security threat doesn’t make us any safer, and it undermines our core values," said Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineA lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Warren's pledge to avoid first nuclear strike sparks intense pushback Almost three-quarters say minimum age to buy tobacco should be 21: Gallup MORE (D-Va.), who like Coons is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Congress should pass legislation to revoke this ban."

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces White House eyes September action plan for gun proposals Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control MORE (D-Conn.) argued that Congress should pass his legislation to block funding for enforcement of the travel ban.

"The Supreme Court won’t stop that unconscionable policy, but an act of Congress can," he said. "I have a bill that would immediately stop President Trump’s mean-spirited Muslim ban and once again open our doors to children and parents suffering at the hands of our enemies."

But any push to overturn or limit Trump's travel ban through legislation is likely dead on arrival in a Republican-controlled Congress.

Asked about the chances of success for such legislation, Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions To combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks MORE (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, suggested it isn't politically feasible.

"Let's be real," he said. "The Republicans are in control."