President Donald Trump’s supporters praised a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday upholding the administration's travel ban as a victory for his agenda and a boost in an election year.
Trina Rogers, 30, a homemaker from Merrill, in northern Wisconsin, said she is “totally cool” with the travel ban and “100 percent supportive” of Trump's actions as president.
“You can’t move forward if you don’t have change,” Rogers said. “I support Trump in everything he is doing.”
Tuesday’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling on Trump's temporary travel ban against predominantly Muslim countries reinforced the president’s authority on national security matters and reversed a series of lower court decisions that had struck down the ban as illegal or unconstitutional.
Tuesday's victory should help energize those hard-core Trump supporters heading into the 2018 midterm elections, some Republican leaders said.
But make no mistake, they said, his base has remained committed to the Trump presidency since his surprise 2016 election.
“We’ve been energized,” said JoAnn DeBartolo, head of the Naples, Florida-based Collier for Trump Club. “It’s not like it went away.”
DeBatolo, who led the Trump campaign in Collier County, said about 200 people showed up for the club’s most recent luncheon at a local seafood restaurant in mid-June. Trump continues to receive strong support in pockets of Florida, including the southwest coastal counties where record turnout for him helped him win 61 percent of the vote in Collier and 59 percent in neighboring Lee County.
Trump also received high marks Tuesday in Wisconsin, where supporters also gave him the edge in 2016. Supporter Richard Staedt, 80, a retiree from Appleton just southwest of Green Bay, said Trump’s fight to preserve the travel ban proves the president is keeping his campaign promises.
“I feel just as pleased about him as before,” Staedt said. “He gets an ‘A’ from me.”
Trump, who enjoyed a 45-percent approval rating in mid-June that matched a high for his presidency following his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, should benefit from even more support following Tuesday's ruling.
"More and more people will become Trump supporters," said Jonathan Martin of Fort Myers, Florida, chair of the Lee County Republican Party.
Winston Ohlhausen of Abilene, Texas, chair of the Republican Party in Taylor County where Trump won nearly 73 percent of the votes, said the ruling striking down lower court decisions was “a no-brainer for somebody who believes in the Constitution.
“It was such a far-fetched ruling. It was so blatant against what the president had the power and ability in his position to do,” Ohlhausen said.
In Florida's panhandle where Trump received some of his biggest victory margins in the state, Pensacola resident Dan Lindemann disagrees with critics who say the ban amounts to religious discrimination.
“To me, it’s purely about national security,” said Lindemann, a former Marine helicopter pilot, small business owner and Trump voter. “When we’re talking about international terrorism and threats from extremists, the majority of the risk comes from Muslim countries. Therefore, the security measures inherently affect Muslim countries.
"It’s a reasonable defense against groups that have declared jihad against Americans.”
The travel ban ruling was the latest in a string of Supreme Court victories that have favored conservative and Republican causes.
In early June, the court sided with a Colorado baker accused of discrimination for refusing to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Also on Tuesday, the court ruled against a California law that required anti-abortion pregnancy centers to inform women about publicly-funded abortion and contraceptive services.
Martin said those issues, although not directly related to the Trump administration, show the importance of the president's appointments to the Supreme Court. Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the court in his first year.
The court victories and a roaring economy could sway moderates and swing voters, and show them that Trump isn’t the “evil dictator” that some media and opponents make him out to be, Martin said.
“It’s not affecting the Trump supporters,” Martin said. “They already know where he’s at. Trump supporters aren’t racist. They’re not bigots the media is making them out to be.
“They just want their borders safe, just like every other country in the world.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, made a similar point Monday on Twitter.
“Trump haters still haven’t realized how much they help him with their condescension of those who either voted for him or don’t share their hatred of him,” Rubio tweeted. “And how much they help him with their irrational hostility towards those who work for him.”
The travel ban ruling and other recent Supreme Court decisions offer Trump opponents an opportunity to rally for the upcoming election, said Juan Cuba, chair of the Democratic Party in Miami.
“I think cases like these highlight what’s really at stake in the next election, and what’s at stake in our country,” he said. “It’s not just the laws. It’s who we are as a country, what our values are.”
More: What Supreme Court ruling on travel ban means for other countries
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USA TODAY NETWORK staff writers Andy Marlette, William Glauber, Timothy Chipp contributed to this report.