The US Capitol building is pictured in Washington, DC, on July 29, 2011. US President Barack Obama warned the US was almost of time to agree a debt ceiling deal as Republicans and Democrats scrambled to find a way out of an impasse and avoid a disastrous default. With just days to go until the United States could be pushed into an unprecedented default, Obama insisted the warring sides could still reach an 11th-hour compromise on raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
The US Capitol building is pictured in Washington, DC, on July 29, 2011. US President Barack Obama warned the US was almost of time to agree a debt ceiling deal as Republicans and Democrats scrambled to find a way out of an impasse and avoid a disastrous default. With just days to go until the United States could be pushed into an unprecedented default, Obama insisted the warring sides could still reach an 11th-hour compromise on raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.
Now playing
02:50
SCOTUS allows parts of Trump's travel ban
muslim ban jake tapper fact check orig nws_00002104.jpg
muslim ban jake tapper fact check orig nws_00002104.jpg
Now playing
03:45
Is travel ban a 'total and complete' Muslim ban?
trump travel ban
CNN
trump travel ban
Now playing
01:39
Trump reacts to travel ban ruling
Jeremy Moorhead/CNN
Now playing
02:19
Voices divided on travel ban ruling
travel ban trump then and now orig nws_00002328.jpg
travel ban trump then and now orig nws_00002328.jpg
Now playing
01:23
Trump's travel ban then and now
CNN
Now playing
01:53
The seven countries banned by Trump
CNN
Now playing
00:57
Toobin: This is Muslim ban dressed in a tutu
Now playing
01:42
Senator: Supreme Court abandoned responsibility
WASHINGTON - MARCH 08:  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill March 8, 2007 in Washington, DC. Thomas and fellow Justice Clarence Thomas spoke about concerns with the ongoing remodeling of the court building, the reduction of paperwork due to electronic media and the disparity of pay between federal judges and lawyers working in the private sector.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON - MARCH 08: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill March 8, 2007 in Washington, DC. Thomas and fellow Justice Clarence Thomas spoke about concerns with the ongoing remodeling of the court building, the reduction of paperwork due to electronic media and the disparity of pay between federal judges and lawyers working in the private sector. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:58
Justice Kennedy harshly critiques Trump
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 23: People wait in line to enter the U.S. Supreme Court, on April 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. Today the high court is hearing arguments in Chavez-Mesa v. US, which concerns a technical matter regarding sentencing guidelines. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be representing the government. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 23: People wait in line to enter the U.S. Supreme Court, on April 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. Today the high court is hearing arguments in Chavez-Mesa v. US, which concerns a technical matter regarding sentencing guidelines. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be representing the government. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:48
Supreme Court upholds Trump's travel ban
CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 25: Travelers with their baggage are seen in a check-in line September 25, 2006 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. The TSA announced today they have slightly relaxed the ban on carrying some liquids onto passenger flights to allow most toiletries and beverages bought after the security checkpoints.  (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Tim Boyle/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 25: Travelers with their baggage are seen in a check-in line September 25, 2006 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. The TSA announced today they have slightly relaxed the ban on carrying some liquids onto passenger flights to allow most toiletries and beverages bought after the security checkpoints. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:31
Trump's latest travel ban
Now playing
04:04
Listen as lawyers argue travel ban case
President Donald Trump smiles during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2017.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump smiles during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2017.
Now playing
02:36
Court cites Trump tweets in travel ban ruling
travel ban immigrant families althaibani
CNN, Family Photos
travel ban immigrant families althaibani
Now playing
02:29
Families in limbo over Trump's travel ban
Now playing
01:14
Jeff Sessions: Travel ban protects Americans
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01:  U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump pledged on the campaign trail to withdraw from the accord, which former President Barack Obama and the leaders of 194 other countries signed in 2015. The agreement is intended to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit global warming to a manageable level.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump pledged on the campaign trail to withdraw from the accord, which former President Barack Obama and the leaders of 194 other countries signed in 2015. The agreement is intended to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit global warming to a manageable level. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:30
Trump pushes travel ban in tweetstorm

Story highlights

The Supreme Court said foreigners must now have a "bona fide" relationship to a person or entity to enter the US

Three conservative justices called the plan "unworkable"

Washington CNN —  

The Supreme Court’s decision green-lighting parts of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban Monday saved many of the prickly questions about the constitutionality of the executive order for another day – but legal experts say that the court’s compromise ruling raises other more practical headaches (and potentially further litigation) for travelers this summer.

“Today’s order will create more confusion, delays, and litigation,” says Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School.

Here’s a look at why.

1. Roll-out plan unclear

When the Trump administration rolled out the President’s first executive order in January, bedlam ensued almost immediately as foreigners from seven predominately Muslim countries tried to enter the US, only to be turned away at the border or separated from loved ones abroad.

This time around, the ban will not go into effect immediately. The President – perhaps looking ahead to a potential court victory – signed a memorandum earlier this month directing administration officials to begin implementation of the permitted parts of the travel ban 72 hours after the court gives the okay.

So when exactly does the clock begin to run?

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on precise timing or a detailed roll-out plan, but said in a statement Monday that implementation will be done with “clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers.”

2. How bona fide is bona fide?

The test for prospective travelers under the Supreme Court’s new decision is whether one has a “credible claim of bona fide relationship” with either an entity or person living in the US – if you do, you can come to the US; if you don’t, you are banned for 90 days if you are from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan (and 120 days if you are a refugee).

Justices offered several examples of scenarios in which travel ban shouldn’t apply – such as a foreign national who wishes to live with a family member in the US or a student accepted to an American university – but what if the individual’s connection to the US is more attenuated or not as well defined?

“It all depends on what the relationship is and when it is initiated,” explained Yale-Loehr. “If a person thinking about applying to become a refugee emails a church in the US and says ‘please sponsor me to become a refugee,’ that would not qualify as a bona fide relationship, in my view.”

But immigrant rights activists and leaders of refugee resettlement organizations said Monday that based on their reading of the ruling, thousands of refugees should still be able to come to the United States.

03:36 - Source: CNN
Swalwell: SCOTUS ruling makes U.S. less safe

“The hope is that this really only impacts a very small number of people,” said Becca Heller, director of the International Refugee Assistance Project.

Melanie Nezer, senior vice president for public affairs of HIAS, told reporters that the refugee resettlement agency is trying to reassure its clients who are already in the pipeline. Many of them have family ties in the United States, she said, and have established relationships with US-based resettlement organizations.

The court made clear that nonprofits may not initiate contact with foreign nationals from the banned countries to secure their entry into the country, but left open is whether previous contact between refugees and resettlement agencies in the US counts as sufficiently “bona fide.”

“They have extensive ties here, and it would be hard to say that they don’t,” Nezer said. “This decision makes a strong statement that ties are important, that being in the process still matters, and that the US is not looking to break its promises toward people it’s offered resettlement to.”

3. Even more lawsuits?

Other experts say that the Supreme Court’s decision provides greater discretion to consular officers and border agents.

“Think about how the people at the border, at airports are going to make that decision,” said CNN legal analyst Page Pate. “Who is going to make this decision? If we leave it to the folks on the front line, that’s just going to lead to more litigation.”

At least three justices agreed the standard used by the court will prove “unworkable” in practice and invite a “flood of litigation” over the summer as “courts struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a ‘bona fide relationship.’”

The dissent from Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch argued the travel ban should be fully implemented.

“How individuals will prove such a (bona fide) relationship, and whether the burden of proof will be on the government or the individuals seeking entry, remains to be seen,” Yale-Loehr agreed. “I predict chaos at the border and new lawsuits as foreign nationals and refugees argue that they are entitled to enter the United States.”

Except this time, the confusion will have been of the court’s own making. Justices won’t hear oral arguments on the merits of the travel ban until this fall.

CNN’s Catherine Shoichet contributed to this story.