Now that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to lift a Maryland federal judge’s injunction stopping the temporary travel ban ordered by President Trump on March 6, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that it’s time to appeal to the Supreme Court.
A ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is still pending, but the administration may not wait to make its formal appeal to the Supreme Court.
When they hear the case, Supreme Court justices would decide whether or not courts should defer to the president when it comes to allowing certain people to enter the country, especially in the interest of national security, as is the case here. They would also rule on whether or not Trump’s order was religion-based in such a way that it would violate the U.S. Constitution.
The confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch in April restored a 5-4 majority, so conservative principles would win in this case, regardless of what the liberal justices rule. However, when he was questioned about Trump’s criticism of judges who ruled against the ban, Gorsuch said only that he “would not be a rubber stamp for any president.”
It could take several months for the process to take place, which means that an entire year will likely have passed before a final resolution is reached. However, the administration may file an emergency application to put the order into effect during that time, so long as at least five justices consent.
According to libertarian law professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University, some conservative justices might join the liberals in overturning the travel ban. “Conservatives in other contexts often take a hard line against any kind of government discrimination (based) on race or religion or the like, even if the motivation may be benign,” said Somin, noting, “Also, conservatives have concerns about government infringements on religion.”
The 4th Circuit ruled 10-3 that the travel ban violated the Constitution’s prohibition on the government favoring or disfavoring any religion.
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