The Trump administration could learn within days whether the Supreme Court rules to lift a temporary stay on the president’s revised executive order banning travel from six predominantly Muslim countries.
The Justice Department filed an emergency request Thursday evening asking the justices to allow Trump’s travel order to take effect immediately despite being blocked by lower courts, while the court litigates on whether the order violated the U.S. Constitution’s ban on religious discrimination by targeting Muslims.
A federal appeals court in Virginia last month ruled against Executive Order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” A majority of the 4th Circuit appeals court cited then-candidate Trump’s campaign statements proposing a ban “preventing Muslim immigration.”
However, the Trump administration argued the ruling was deeply flawed.
A ruling from the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit is still pending, but the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to get involved in the issue now.
While the Supreme Court rarely grants emergency requests, it is possible the court could rule to lift part of the lower court restrictions, allowing the government to assess background information on visa applicants from the six affected countries while maintaining the ban on withholding visas, according to one news outlet.
Reuters also reported:
The fight over the emergency application is likely to determine whether the ban ever takes effect. That is because if the court grants the request, the ban’s 90-day term will have expired by the time the court decides the legal fate of the proposal.
Although there isn’t a timeline for when the Supreme Court would issue a final ruling in the broader merits of the case, the justices could issue an order in the next few days on whether Trump’s travel ban can be temporarily enforced.
With Conservative Neil Gorsuch recently taking the bench, and a 5-4 conservative majority, odds are in Trump’s favor this time compared to the left-leaning lower courts.
“Even though it’s a heavy lift getting a stay, it seems to me that the Supreme Court is the most favorable court they’ve had access to so far,” according to Washington attorney, John Elwood.
As long as the administration receives five votes on the nine-justice court, the ban can be put into effect.
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