On Tuesday night, the Supreme Court dismissed one of the two cases it was scheduled to hear challenging President Trump’s now-expired travel ban. A third iteration of Trump’s travel ban will go into effect on Oct. 18, despite already pending legal challenges.
All nine justices agreed to dismiss the case, which originated in Maryland and was pursued by the American Civil Liberties Union, according to Reuters. Their ruling was brief and noted that the case was essentially moot since the expired ban no longer presented “a live controversy.”
Following our established practice in such cases, the judgment is therefore vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss as moot the challenge to Executive Order No. 13,780.
The court has agreed to hear a second case brought by Hawaii specifically challenging the Trump administration’s refugee ban as well as the original ban barring travel from six majority-Muslim countries. But that case might also be dismissed since the White Houses’s refugee ban expires on Oct. 24.
Dismissing the Maryland case decreases the likelihood that the Supreme Court court will rule on the legality of Trump’s travel ban this term. Signed at the end of September, an executive order indefinitely banning travel from Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Chad, North Korea will replace previous versions of Trump’s ban.
The ACLU preemptively sent a letter to the same Maryland federal judge who rejected the first iteration of Trump’s travel ban arguing the new ban was still illegal. Once the new ban is implemented, the entire process of challenging its legality will have to begin again and make its way through the courts.