Justices end 4th Circuit travel-ban challenge


The court got rid of a case that originated in Maryland and involves a ban that has now expired and been replaced by a new version.

That case could yet be dismissed once the refugee ban expires on October 24, meaning the court remains unlikely to issue a final ruling on whether the ban was lawful.

The US Supreme Court has quashed an appeal that had blocked a now-expired version of Donald Trump's anti-immigration decree.

Because most of the controversial provisions of the executive order only last 90 days, Trump it could be fully implemented before the Court hears the case. Trump explained that the federal government had, as directed in the March 6 order, evaluated the procedures that it used to vet travelers to the United States.

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Trump's Justice Department has argued that both cases should be dismissed, as new travel restrictions announced by the administration are set to go into effect on October 18.

In the briefs that they filed last week, the two sides disagreed on two central questions: Whether the cases are moot and, if they are, the fate of the lower-court decisions ruling for the challengers.

The Court is prevented from hearing disputes that are already moot. Another case that is pending from the Ninth Circuit is also likely to be vacated.

The justices noted that the provision of the travel ban had expired and that the case no longer presents "a live case or controversy".

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote separately from the court to add that she would have dismissed the case, but allowed the lower court ruling to remain on the books.

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

This post originally appeared at Howe on the Court.

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