High Court Dismisses Final Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban
by Dan McCue, Court House News, October 24, 2017
(CN) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the last case challenging President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.
The court issued an order dismissing the lawsuit brought by the state of Hawaii challenging the 90-day travel ban on nationals from six majority-Muslim countries and the 120-day halt on the U.S. refugee resettlement program, claiming the case is now moot.
Because the 90-day ban expired on Sept. 24 and the 120-day ban expired on Tuesday, the court said there is no longer a “live case or controversy.”
In June, the court reinstated the ban after it was blocked by a lower court, though it exempted people traveling to the United States who could show they had a bona fide relationship to a person to entity in the U.S.
The court combined Hawaii’s challenge with a case brought by the International Refugee Assistance Project, but cancelled the oral arguments scheduled for Oct. 10 after Trump issued new, targeted restrictions on travel from eight countries.
The court dismissed the International Refugee Assistance Project earlier this month because it only challenged the 90-day ban. In dismissing the second case, the court said it was expressing no view on the merits.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the court order tossing out the lower court rulings. She said she would have dismissed the case as improvidently granted.
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Trump Set to Appeal Rejection of Latest Travel Ban
by Matthew Renda, Court House News, October 24, 2017
(CN) – The Trump administration will appeal the latest judicial block of the president’s travel ban, according to papers filed in federal court.
The Justice Department gave notice of its intent to appeal U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson’s recently imposed preliminary injunction on the third version of the President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The appeal will be heard by the Ninth Circuit, which has heard appeals relating to injunctions of the previous two versions of the executive order, both times upholding injunctions of the orders.
Trump had sought to bar travelers from six Muslim-majority nations plus North Korea and certain officials from Venezuela from entering the United States for an indefinite period before Watson awarded the state of Hawaii the injunction hours before the ban was to take effect.
Iran, Syria, Somalia, Chad, Yemen and Libya made up the targeted nations in the third version, with Chad taking Sudan’s place from the second edition.
Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin argued in court that the third version of the travel ban was the same thinly veiled attack on the Muslim religion and violated the U.S. Constitution along with sections of U.S. immigration law.
Watson said earlier this month that Hawaii had enough of a likelihood of prevailing on its claims of being unduly harmed by the travel ban that an injunction was warranted.
The White House called Watson’s decision “deeply flawed” and said this version of the ban was carved out after diligent study of the immigration and national security policies of more than 150 countries around the world.
Chin and other organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union said the study was simply a guise to justify what is essentially an unconstitutional attack against residents from the six Muslim-majority nations.
The appeal comes on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court formally dismissed the appeal of the previous travel ban case, which it was scheduled to hear in early October.
“Because those provisions of the order have ‘expired by [their] own terms,’ the appeal no longer presents a ‘live case or controversy,’” the court said in a summary disposition order issued Tuesday morning.
Days before oral argument was slated to begin for the second version of the travel ban, the Trump administration announced its third iteration.
Many legal analysts said at the time that the inclusion of North Korea and Venezuela could thwart potential legal challenges that cited the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment. But Watson’s injunction involved only the parts the third travel ban dealing with the Muslim-majority nations, allowing the parts relating to Venezuela and North Korea to stay in place.
If the Ninth Circuit affirms Watson’s decision, the U.S. Supreme Court will likely get the case again.