No consensus on legality of Trump's 'Muslim ban'

Posted at 2:36 PM, Dec 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-12 14:36:19-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's no legal or historical precedent for closing U.S. borders to the world's 1.6 billion Muslims, but neither is there any Supreme Court case that clearly prevents a president or Congress from doing so.

Legal experts are divided over how the high court would react to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for a temporary halt to Muslims entering the United States.

Cornell University law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr says the unprecedented action against an entire religion would raise "interesting and novel questions" for the court.

Scholars agree that a blanket action based on a person's religion would be unconstitutional if applied to U.S. citizens. But courts have given Congress and the president wide discretion when it comes to immigration.