In Victory for Trump, Supreme Court Drops 1 Travel Ban Case

Image courtesy of KUCW

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday evening dismissed as moot a pending challenge to the second version of President Donald Trump's travel ban. The likely explanation for the different treatment of the two cases is that the Hawaii case challenges a provision of the March 6 order that is still in effect, but will expire later this month.

Courts of appeal, respectively, in Richmond, Virginia and San Francisco, California, upheld the suspension decision in May and June.

The court did not act on a separate challenge brought by the state of Hawaii, which the court had also agreed to hear.

The White House at the end of September issued a new decree that permanently bars nationals of seven countries from crossing U.S. borders, in the interest of United States national security.

The 4th Circuit case was brought by the International Refugee Assistance Project, which argued that banning travel from six majority-Muslim countries violated the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion.

The cases raise complicated and far-reaching issues about the president's powers, and many legal experts believe the court may not want to jump in unless it is necessary.

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The executive order banning people from six countries-Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen-expired on September 24, so the case is now moot.

Notably, Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the Court's Monday order.

At the same time, lower courts also tried to place strict additional limits on the refugee ban.

Although the court initially agreed to hear two cases challenging the order on October 10, the arguments were canceled after Trump issued new restrictions.

The justices did not say what they will do with another challenge lodged by Hawaii, which came up through the 9th Circuit, and which covered a broader set of objections than the 4th Circuit case. It asked the lower court rulings be erased. Attorneys in both Trump v. Hawaii and Trump v. IRAP have sought to amend their original complaints (here and here) to challenge the new proclamation, while another group - the Council on American-Islamic Relations - has filed its own challenge. Thus, it appears that the Court views the refugee case as still live.

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