How court battle over travel ban could unfold

AP News
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Posted: Feb 06, 2017 6:37 PM

With filing of court briefs completed late Monday, President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily limiting immigration to the U.S. is squarely before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. A look at what might happen next:

— The appeals court will hear arguments in the case Tuesday in an hour-long telephone conference. It's unclear when a ruling will come.

— Whichever side loses could ask the Supreme Court to take the case on an emergency basis. But with the court at only eight members because of the death a year ago of Justice Antonin Scalia, it may be hard to find five votes to undo any result from the liberal-leaning 9th Circuit.

— If Judge Neil Gorsuch is confirmed to the high court by spring, as Senate Republicans hope, the court would be returned to full strength, increasing the chances Trump might prevail.

— How and when the case might reach the Supreme Court is unclear. With the travel ban set to expire in 90 days, it could run its course before the court can take up the issue. Another possibility is that the White House could extend the ban's duration.