Supreme Court throws out travel ban ruling

Image courtesy of KUCW

The Supreme Court discharged one of the challenges to a recently lapsed category of President Trump's travel ban and the legitimate battle over its latest efforts to forbid some immigrants will require starting afresh.

The high court dismissed (PDF) a challenge by the International Refugee Assistance Project that dealt only with the ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries, which was replaced on September 24 when it expired, report SCOTUSblog, the New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only judge to dismiss the case as improvidently granted, saying she would have preserved the appeal's court ruling against the ban rather than vacating it all together. Though the order explicitly states that the Court expresses "no view on the merits" of the case, it is not good news for opponents of the ban.

The Hawaii case similarly challenged section 2 (c) - but it also challenged the provisions of the ban dealing with refugees.

Dismissing the cases would allow the court to avoid ruling on hard legal issues, at least for a while. Succeeding the habitual practice in such cases, The judgment is therefore abdicated and the case is adjourned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with directives to disperse as moot the provocation.

The high court's new order vacated a caustic ruling that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued in May in which the court's chief judge declared that Trump's ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination".

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"Plaintiffs retain an all-too-real stake in the outcome of the case", the group's attorney, Omar Jadwat, said in a filing to the court on October 5.

He subtracted Sudan and added in Chad, North Korea and Venezuela to the list of countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen - that faced restrictions.

Hawaii, which brought the 9th Circuit challenge, warned the justices that elements of the earlier ban still could be revived, since Trump has said he wants a "much tougher version".

The third version of the travel ban is also being challenged in court.

The latest travel ban targets five countries included in two previous versions. There are already lawsuits in both circuits against the new executive order, but the fight is largely over, and Trump has won.

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