On 27th January, according to this article, Donald Trump

approved a sweeping executive order that suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also barred green card holders from those countries from re-entering the United States

According to this article, persecuted Christians will be given priority as refugees. This can be seen as discrimination and make the order unconstitutional:

Supreme court has often deferred to the president on immigration, but civil rights groups will challenge on grounds of intent to discriminate by religion

Also, according to this source, a Judge has partially halted implementation of Trump's immigration order.

Question: It there a way that the order is reverted? If yes, how soon one can hope that this happens?

  • A more interesting question, but it's speculative and can't be answered here, is Iran going to comply with the data request on how it pre-determines status of visa applicants. So far they have refused. At heart it's a simple requirement. We shall see.
    – user9790
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 15:15
  • 5
    Note that reference to Christian refugees is not because of their religion, but because that group of refugees is being persecuted within the area that they are fleeing. That is a different circumstance than barring a particular group because of their religion. Also barring a group (even of a particular religion) because terrorists are targeting that group for infiltration (until we can weed out the terrorists) is different than barring that group because of their religion. It is a difference that could determine whether the order is or is not constitutional. Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 16:00
  • 1
    To add to @sabbahillel's comment, the text of the order just says that preference should be given to persecuted members of "a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality". Considering that the countries on the list are all Muslim majority, persecuted Christians would be in this category.
    – user812786
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 12:17
  • Also keep in mind that Freedom of Religion is not absolute. This may sound crazy, but that's because everyone wants to "coexist" and break with the philosophy of the Founding Fathers. For example, no one has the right to practice the religion of the Aztecs. Combined with sabbahillel's comment above, this should give you a better perspective concerning the apparent priority given to specific religions. But I think sabb's comment is perfectly accurate. Besides, it's not the Christians we necessarily have to be worried about. Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 22:58

3 Answers 3


Yes, but it might be difficult.

There are only 2 ways to overturn an executive order issued by a President.

1. Through Congress

Congress can pass laws to override an Executive Order, however the laws are subjected to the President's veto.

Congress can pass laws to override executive orders, those laws are subject to presidential veto. And even if the Republican-controlled House and Senate somehow decided to defy their party's own president, it's just not all that difficult to imagine Trump exercising his veto power.

(excerpts from this article by Bustle, emphasis mine)

But Congress can veto a President's veto, known as a congressional override. This can be achieved by having two-thirds of the members of each chamber of Congress to vote in favor of the override.

This has happened before, most recently Congress voted to override Obama's veto on a bill that would allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot.


since Presidents can veto laws passed by Congress, Trump can still veto the law and it would require 2/3 majority in Congress to override the veto.

2. Through the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court can declare the order as unconstitutional which has happened before.

There is another way, though. The Supreme Court can declare an executive order to be unconstitutional, which has a rather strong record of precedents.

Recent history, for instance, saw the Supreme Court block Obama's executive order to delay deportations of certain undocumented immigrants. Reaching further back, the Supreme Court actually struck down President Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, an executive order the president issued during the Civil War. His government ignored the Supreme Court sanction.

(excerpts from this article by Bustle, emphasis mine)


the plausible way would be for the Supreme Court to rule his order as unconstitutional. But opinion has been divided over whether his order does violate the US constitution.

An article published by The Guardian describes if it is unconstitutional:

Legal scholars have been divided for months about whether Trump’s proposals would hold under the constitution. Congress and the White House share authority to decide eligibility for citizenship and entry into the country, and the supreme court has never directly confronted whether religion could stand as a valid reason to exclude some people over others. Trump’s orders do not explicitly name Islam but clearly target Muslim-majority countries, meaning it could test the constitution’s guarantees of religion and due process, as well as the president’s authority over immigration in general.

(emphasis mine)

And an article by Quartz:

That puts the order in direct violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution, which explicitly forbids the government from preferential treatment of any religion over another, says David Cole, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. He cites the 1982 decision known as Larson v. Valente, in which the US Supreme Court confirmed that “the clearest command of the Establishment Clause is that one religious denomination cannot be officially preferred over another.”

(emphasis mine)

Also, a commentary by The New York Times states:

Nonetheless, Mr. Trump asserts that he still has the power to discriminate, pointing to a 1952 law that allows the president the ability to “suspend the entry” of “any class of aliens” that he finds are detrimental to the interest of the United States.

But the president ignores the fact that Congress then restricted this power in 1965, stating plainly that no person could be “discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.” The only exceptions are those provided for by Congress (such as the preference for Cuban asylum seekers).

(emphasis mine)

  • > The Supreme Court can declare the order as unconstitutional which has happened before. that's very difficult, as the immigration law today provides the executive branch with a broad spectrum of power to bar entry into the US any aliens (individually) or any class of aliens. That means he can cut by nationality, religion, race, gender, and anything else. Especially if he does so at the point of boarding a flight or a ship, the alien has no protection of us constitution.
    – dannyf
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 14:19
  • @dannyf Thanks too, but I've stated that it's difficult to overturn his EO
    – Panda
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 14:21
  • Good job. It does make it better. EOs are on firmer ground if they are based upon the law.
    – user9790
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 14:41
  • It's interesting to note that refugee vetting requires consideration of religion, race, etc. as a form of prosecution.
    – user9790
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 14:43
  • 4
    FYI, the Supreme Court doesn't have some special power to rule an order unconstitutional. Any federal court has the authority to declare an executive order unconstitutional (for DACA, the last court that issued a decision was actually an intermediate appeals court because SCOTUS split 4-4). The only things the Supreme Court has over other federal courts is that there's no appeal and all other courts in the country have to abide by its rulings.
    – cpast
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 22:02

No. Not lawfully, that is.

He is specifically permitted by law to do this. And rightfully so—he's done the right thing with this action.

f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

Link: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182

  • This answer is incorrect. The president's authority under 8 USC 1182(f) is not absolute. It is potentially subject to other statutes (for example, 8 USC 1152), international treaty obligations (for example, the 1967 protocol to the International Refugee Convention), and the constitution (for example, the first, fourth, and fifth amendments). If his order is found to conflict with any of those other sources of law, it can be invalidated in whole or in part by a federal court.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 19:41

Question: It there a way that the order is reverted?

You can sue to stop it, you can persuade Trump, you can figure out a way to remove Trump from the office, .....

There is nothing new in that eo, as it is simply a law passed in 2015 2016 timeframe, by Congress and signed by president obama, except his administration didn't execute that law.

The eo basically starts execution of a law that has been on the books for a while.

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