Trump Has Asked The Supreme Court To Revive The Travel Ban

The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court Thursday to break its losing streak in lower courts and revive President Trump's travel ban on immigrants from six predominantly Muslim nations.

"Petition-Appendix.pdf">petition [text, PDF] Thursday asking the Supreme Court [official website] to temporarily lift injunctions that block the president's executive order suspending visa issuance to individuals traveling to the United States from six Muslim-majority countries.

But, the government stressed, the 4th Circuit nonetheless ruled that the travel ban likely violated the Constitution because the president meant to discriminate against Muslims, even if the order does not actually say so. The 10-3 majority opinion stopped implementation of the revised order, which would halt the issuance of new visas for travelers from the majority-Muslim countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

Miles Treakle, left, of Seattle, holds a sign that reads "Refugees Welcome Ban Trump", as he protests against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, May 15, 2017, outside a federal courthouse in Seattle.

One thorny issue the Supreme Court may have to resolve if it grants the stay is whether the 90-day ban would begin from the day of the court's action or whether the clock has been ticking throughout the litigation, in which case it would expire in mid-June.

He said there was a "reasonable probability" the justices would reverse the 4th Circuit's ruling, and added Trump's order should be allowed to go into effect. The first one, issued in January, was quickly halted by courts after the initial implementation of the directive prompted chaos at various U.S. airports.

"Int27l-Refugee-Assistance-App.pdf" class="local_link" >Maryland, where a federal district judge blocked the implementation of the order on March 16; last week the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit largely upheld the Maryland judge's order.

The Justice Department Spokeswoman Sarah Isgur released a statement defending the travel ban and summarizing President Trump's argument.

The governments filing late Thursday asks the justices to set aside the 4th Circuit ruling and accept the case for oral arguments. And that court majority said the travel ban drips with religious intolerance.

The Trump administration says the Constitution gives the president "broad authority to prevent aliens overseas from entering this country when he deems it in the nation's interest".

What is the administration formally asking the Supreme Court to do?

Given the case's high-profile nature, the full appeals court in Richmond heard the arguments - bypassing the usual initial three-judge panel - for the first time in a quarter of a century.

But the timing of the case is tricky: The process of briefing, arguing and deciding a case at the Supreme Court takes months.

However, unlike the first order, which was blocked by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, it also details categories of people eligible to enter the United States for business or medical travel purposes, no longer suspends Syrian refugee admissions indefinitely and excludes Iraq. Another justice, Neil Gorsuch, was appointed by Trump earlier this year. A second attempt by the administration was also blocked before it could go into effect.

  • Leroy Wright