The Supreme Court on Monday announced that it will consider whether President Trump's travel ban violated federal law and partially granted the Trump administration's request to temporarily stay lower-court rulings against the ban Adam Liptak reports for the New York Times.
The executive order sought to ban the issuance of new visas for 90 days to individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and to suspend refugee entry from all countries for 120 days.
Multiple appeals courts had ruled against the ban: The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the travel ban violated the First Amendment's ban on government establishment of religion, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the order exceeded the authority Congress had granted the executive office regarding immigration law.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and 21 other health care organizations filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging the justices not to take up the appeal, expressing concerns about the implications of the order for travelers coming to the United States to work in health care and other fields.
Supreme Court to hear cases, partially grants DOJ's request for stay
The Supreme Court on Monday said it would review both lower court rulings and would hear arguments in October.
Further, in an unsigned opinion, the justices partially granted the administration's request for a stay. The justices said individuals who have no ties to the United States and are applying for a first-time visa can continue to be denied access, but those with ties or relationships in the United States would still be allowed to enter the country.
They wrote, "In practical terms, this means that" the executive order "may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito Jr., and Neil Gorsuch, in a dissent said they would have fully revived the travel ban while the court considers the case. Justice Thomas wrote, "I fear that the court's remedy will prove unworkable," adding, "Today's compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding—on peril of contempt—whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country."
Justices suggest case could be moot before it is argued in court
The justices also addressed points raised in legal briefs filed with the court earlier this month that noted part of the 9th Circuit appeals court ruling could make the case moot before the justices hear oral arguments.
While the 9th Circuit upheld the portion of the lower court's ruling that blocked the executive order from taking effect, it overturned a part of the lower court ruling that barred the administration from conducting internal reviews of its vetting procedures while the case was underway. The executive order had suspended travel for individuals from the six countries for 90 days to give the Trump administration time to conduct the internal review.
According to the Times, the justices suggested that if the Trump administration completes its internal review over the summer, that case could be moot before it is argued in October (Liptak, New York Times, 6/26).
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