Supreme Court Drops Travel Ban Case From Argument Schedule

The U.S. Supreme Court removed a clash over President Donald Trump’s travel ban from its argument calendar and raised the prospect it will dismiss the case, telling the administration and the ban’s challengers to file briefs discussing the impact of a new revised policy.

The revised policy, issued Sunday and affecting eight countries, supersedes what had been a temporary travel ban affecting six mostly Muslim countries.

The court had been scheduled to hear arguments Oct. 10 on the earlier policy.

The one-paragraph order doesn’t preclude the court from re-scheduling the case for argument at a later point in its nine-month term, which formally starts Monday.

The court asked the two sides to discuss whether the dispute before the justices is legally moot given the new policy.

Challengers to the policy say Trump is exceeding his authority under the federal immigration laws and violating the Constitution by targeting Muslims.

Trump says he is acting to protect the country from terrorism.

His new order comes after the Department of Homeland Security recommended restrictions, saying particular countries weren’t providing enough information about their citizens who were seeking to enter the U.S.

The new policy adds North Korea, Venezuela and Chad to the list of countries facing at least some restrictions.

One mostly Muslim country, Sudan, was dropped from the previous list and another, Chad, was added.

The five countries that remain on the list are Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.

“I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,” Trump wrote in Sunday’s proclamation.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said in a statement that the restrictions “are tough and tailored, and they send a message to foreign governments that they must work with us to enhance security.”

Some legal experts say immigration advocates will have a tougher time persuading judges to block the new policy because it was based on a more thorough examination of the risks posed by visitors from particular countries.

Even so, Trump’s derogatory campaign statements about Muslims mean the policy may still be vulnerable.

The Supreme Court struck a compromise in June, when it let part of the temporary travel ban take effect.

Under that order the ban can’t be applied to those who have a “bona fide,” pre-existing relationship with a person or entity already in the country.

The new policy incorporates that compromise order, applying only to people who “lack a credible claim of a bona fide relationship.”

The cases are Trump v. International Refugee Assistance, 16-1436, and Trump v. Hawaii, 16-1540.

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