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Supreme Court Postpones a Decision on Trump's Travel Ban

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

President Trump extended his travel ban to individuals from Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, which prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to delay a decision on his previous travel order.

With some modifications from the High Court, the prior executive order against six other nations is already in effect. And according to legal experts, the new order has a better chance of standing up in court.

The justices were preparing to hear arguments on Oct. 10, but they have removed the case from their calendar pending further consideration.

Stronger Order?

While civil rights groups are criticizing Trump's latest ban, experts say the order is legally stronger than others. The president's March 6 executive order targeted Muslim-majority countries; the Sept. 24 ban does not.

"The greater the sense that the policy reflects a considered, expert judgment, the less the temptation to second-guess the executive," Saikrishna Prakash, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, told Reuters. "It looks less like a matter of prejudice or a desire to fulfill a campaign promise."

In June, the justices issued a limited version of the ban to go forward in the pending cases. In those appeals -- Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Hawaii v. Trump -- Trump's lawyers sought to reverse decisions by judges in California, Hawaii, Maryland and Virginia blocking the travel ban.

With Trump's new order and the Supreme Court's actions, some issues appear to be moot. The court has ordered the attorneys in the cases to brief the issue.

What Is Moot?

The lawyers have until Oct. 5 to file their briefs. Because the new order takes effect on Oct. 18, the court will be pressed to respond.

The previous order, a revision of the President's initial ban, targeted Muslim-majority nations Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan. The new ban adds one Muslim country -- Chad -- and two that are not -- North Korea and Venezuela.

The ban against Venezuela applies only to government officials there, and the restrictions against Sudan will be lifted. While opponents decide whether to challenge the latest order, it "arguably attenuates the link between the president's alleged bias and the policy," said Margo Schlanger, a University of Michigan Law School professor.

For the latest Supreme Court news, subscribe to FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Newsletter.

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