The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court on Thursday evening to immediately restore its contentious travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries while it reviews a lower court’s decision.
“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,” said Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores to CNN.
Trump’s revised travel ban faced a major obstacle last week after a federal appeals court in Virginia voted 10-3 to uphold a nationwide stay to the policy. The Trump White House is asking the Supreme Court to set aside this ruling and lift a nationwide injunction on the travel ban issued by a federal judge in Hawaii.
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco is set to rule on a broader challenge to the travel ban this month, which also includes the ban on the US refugee program. Judges in both courts expressed the sentiment that Trump’s executive order violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
But dissenting judge Judge Paul V. Niemeyer of the Fourth Circuit pointed out that the Supreme Court usually sides with the president on issues of national security and foreign policy. He also argued that campaign statements made by Trump that attacked Muslims could not be used as proof that the White House’s executive order discriminated against Muslims. Both arguments likely to be echoed by the new Supreme Court Justice freshly appointed by Trump, Neil Gorsuch.
The travel ban case will be the first Trump policy whose fate will be decided by the Supreme Court.
CORRECTION: This post previously misstated the number of Muslim-majority countries in Trump’s revised travel ban. It has since been updated.