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The five-person conservative majority on the Supreme Court appears willing to uphold President Trump’s authority to impose a travel ban, The New York Times reported. The court heard arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the ban, which restricts entry into the U.S. to varying degrees for nationals of seven countries -- Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen -- five of which are Muslim majority (an eighth country, Chad, was recently removed from the list of banned countries).

The Times reported that the justices appeared ready to defer to the president’s national security judgments and to put aside Trump’s campaign statements indicating he would ban Muslims from entering the country.

Universities and higher education groups have largely opposed the ban, which has gone through a number of iterations, on the grounds that it is discriminatory and blocks them from bringing talented students and scholars from certain parts of the world to the U.S. The government has defended the travel restrictions as necessary to prevent the entry of terrorists.

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