SCOTUS Tosses One of the Challenges to Travel Ban

Posted: Oct 11, 2017 7:45 AM

The Supreme Court on Tuesday night tossed out one of the challenges to President Trump’s travel ban because a new version has replaced it.

In dismissing the case the International Refugee Assistance Project brought against the administration, the justices said “we express no view on the merits.”

The executive order banning people from six countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—expired on September 24, so the case is now moot. 

“Because that provision of the order ‘expired by its own terms’ on September 24, 2017, the appeal no longer presents a ‘live case or controversy,” the Supreme Court said. 

The court had originally planned to hear two cases challenging the order on Oct. 10, but cancelled arguments after Trump issued new, targeted restrictions on travel from eight countries -- Chad, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. The court ordered the parties in both cases to file additional briefs arguing whether the case is now moot given the new order.

The International Refugee Assistance Project pushed the court to hear the case.

"Plaintiffs retain an all-too-real stake in the outcome of the case," the group's attorney, Omar Jadwat, said in a filing to the court on Oct. 5.

"The 90-day ban on their relatives has now been converted into an indefinite ban with the potential to separate their families, and thousands of others’, for years." (The Hill)

Jadwat argued the new executive order does not change the “religious condemnation” present in the earlier version, "which – despite some new window dressing – continues to relay a message of disparagement to the plaintiffs and other members of their faith."

The court has not yet announced whether it plans to hear the other challenge to the order brought by the state of Hawaii regarding Trump’s ban stopping the refugee resettlement program in the U.S. for 120 days.