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Donald Trump administration asks Supreme Court to revive travel ban


In its filings, the administration asked the nine justices to consider the legality of President Donald Trump's executive order of March 6, a move that appeals a ruling by the 4th Circuit that upheld a nationwide halt to the ban.

If successful, the travel ban could be reinstated within a few weeks. According to the Wall Street Journal, "The president would need the votes of five justices to win immediate restoration of his executive order". Shortly after the decision was issued, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court. It was later clarified by Customs and Border Patrol that they would be treated on a case by case basis, depending on whether they possess a passport of a country that is not banned by the executive order. The Supreme Court could choose to put aside that part of the Hawaii injunction (which is still pending appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals), which would allow the government to go ahead and develop its permanent policies, though without any temporary travel ban.

"Again and again, our nation's courts have found that President Trump's Muslim ban is unconstitutional".

The Supreme Court is the administration's final legal recourse. Chief Judge Roger Gregory said revisions removing any mention of religion from the second executive order did not hide the real motive: "President Trump's desire to exclude Muslims from the United States".

It's not a slam dunk: Justice Kennedy, for instance, has ruled in the past that there are some circumstances under which courts can review immigration policies, and Justice Gorsuch's pre-Supreme Court track record indicates he's also skeptical that the federal government has unlimited authority over individual rights in immigration cases.

Also dubbed the "Muslim ban", it was suspended in February by a Washington state district court judge after several people sued Trump's administration following the ban's introduction in January.

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At issue is Trump's plan to ban most travel from six countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - for 90 days and suspend the entire refugee program for 120 days.

The Maryland judge's order was upheld last month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The three dissenting judges zeroed in on the same issue to accuse their colleagues of overreach, by looking past the established authority and judicial precedent to Trump's statements about Muslims from the campaign, while he was still a private citizen. While that request faces an uphill battle, the high court ultimately could reverse the 4th Circuit and 9th Circuit courts after hearing the case.

The Supreme Court could always decide to do what it wants, such as speeding up the typical briefing schedule or even holding a special sitting over the summer.

That ruling is expected imminently and after that the court could choose hear a full appeal from the administration in October. "The government has not set forth any justification for a stay", Jadwat said, using the legal term by which the Supreme Court would block lower court rulings.

After Trump's proposed Muslim ban drew criticism during the campaign, he shifted course and called for blocking immigration from countries with a "proven history" of terrorism.

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