Trump travel ban: What happens after Supreme Court appeal

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The government also asked the justices to freeze the Hawaii court's ruling blocking the travel ban until the 9th Circuit appeal is resolved - and, if necessary, while the government seeks review of that decision in the Supreme Court.

Five of the nine justices have to vote "yes" for that to happen. "The decision below departs from those rules, and calls into question the Executive and his authority in a way that warrants this Court's review". Critics say his reasoning is flawed and assail the ban as discriminatory.

"Trump's recent speech to Middle East leaders in Saudi Arabia provides more evidence that Trump's policy was not motivated by anti-Muslim prejudice because the president explicitly said the fight against terrorism "'is not a battle between different faiths, '" Wall wrote. And the ban, if it is allowed to be enforced, is proposed as temporary, just to give the government 90 days to study and implement new vetting procedures. While it has not fared well legally, experts point out that the Supreme Court presents the best chance the administration has to notch up a win.

"In its first test before a federal appeals court, the second, more nuanced version of the Executive Order still failed miserably - and, once again, largely because of President Trump's own words, tweets, and statements", Vladeck said.

The timing of case is tricky: the process of briefing, arguing and deciding a case at the Supreme Court takes months. The Chief Judge of the 4th Circuit wrote that the travel ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination".

His administration has argued that the travel ban is needed to prevent terrorism in the United States. They stress that the government did not previously ask the Supreme Court to intervene, even when lower courts denied earlier emergency applications seeking to lift the injunctions. The appeals court in Virginia upheld the Maryland ruling.

After the 9th Circuit failed to revive the order, Trump chose to re-draft it rather than taking the issue to the Supreme Court at that time.

The move this week is the latest development in a set of complicated legal proceedings. That would limit the practical impact if the application were granted. Kennedy is the conservative justice who is closer to the ideological center of the court than any of his colleagues, and he often casts the decisive vote when the court is otherwise split between conservatives and liberals.

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If the court grants the requests, the travel ban will go back into effect and probably expire before the court hears arguments on the merits of the appeal.

A Key court conservative, is Justice Neil Gorsuch, was appointed by President Trump this year.

If the Supreme Court agrees to the administration's request, a 90-day ban on people entering the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would be immediately revived. Following that, should the court choose to revisit the President's Muslim ban, we will be prepared to defend not only the rights of Muslim Americans and immigrants across our country, but our Constitution itself.

It also asked the Supreme Court to fast-track the case, which could result in the justices hearing it before its new term begins in the fall as the court normally disposes of all pending cases by the end of June.

Federal courts in both Maryland and Hawaii issued rulings suspending key parts of the ban.

In the court filings, Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall highlighted the unprecedented nature of lower courts 2nd-guessing the President on national security and immigration.

The justices are not required to hear any case, but this one meets important criteria cited by experts, including that it is the federal government filing the appeal and that it involves a nationwide injunction.

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