President Donald J. Trump’s executive action on immigration, especially the travel moratorium on a group of predominately Muslim countries, has been nothing more than a constant source of heartburn for the administration. While commentators noted that the Supreme Court would settle this fight, the Trump White House did argue the constitutionality of the order at the lower level. Washington State was the first to file a lawsuit against the initial order, successfully getting an injunction on its enforcement. There were legal questions concerning the status of green card holders, so the administration issued a second order, clarifying that issue. Still, liberals sought to block what they saw was an unconstitutional religious ban. Hawaii was the second state to file a motion to block its enforcement. It was successful, eventually becoming a full-blown injunction. Four other states—Washington, New York, Oregon, and Minnesota—also joined Hawaii’s efforts to stop this executive action. At the circuit court level, the Ninth and Fourth Circuit Courts rejected the government’s arguments for the travel moratorium.
After the recent loss in the Fourth Circuit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he would ask the Supreme Court to settle this legal matter. While you were sleeping, the Trump administration officially did that (via ABC News):
The Trump administration on Thursday petitioned the Supreme Court to review its contentious travel ban, a move that could set up a high-stakes final verdict on a policy to restrict immigration from several Muslim-majority nations that has so far been stymied in several lower court decisions.
“We have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that President Trump's executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the Nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism," Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement released Thursday night. "The President is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States."
The Justice Department petition comes after the latest setback for Trump's controversial executive order to temporarily restrict immigration from Somalia, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.