By Ben Cardin

The following is taken from a statement from U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) on the Supreme Court upholding the Trump administration ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries. It has been lightly edited for clarity.

This decision is a major blow to American values, the rule of law, and our country’s standing as leader of the free world. Essentially, the Court has said that a religious litmus test can now be used for granting or denying foreigners the ability to travel to our country. The ramifications are spine-chilling and further dim the lights of the ‘city on a hill.’

Then-candidate-Donald Trump stated as plain as day his desire to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. Today, a majority on the Supreme Court saw fit to fulfill the President’s campaign promise and xenophobic desire. The decision is inexplicable and deeply disturbing, and is perfectly suited to serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists.

Senator Ben Cardin (Twitter Photo)

It should be lost on no one that Republicans in Congress have schemed shamelessly with President Trump to pack the courts with activist judges seemingly bent on rolling back decades of progress on civil rights and universal freedoms.

This latest decision can be directly blamed on blatant obstruction by Senate Republicans who refused to give President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing despite a vacancy that spanned over a year and left our highest court deadlocked on critical issues. Veering down this dangerous path has inflicted lasting damage on the Supreme Court and the independence of the federal judiciary while diminishing the powers and duties of the Senate.

Ben Cardin is a U.S. Senator who represents Maryland.