White House moves travel ban date to avoid mooting case

Credit Alisdare Hickson Flickr

Challengers to the ban, who say the order is meant to discriminate against Muslims, have said in court papers that it should expire on Wednesday, 90 days after the executive order was due to take effect on 16 March.

The ruling by a three-judge bench of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was against the revised travel ban.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended President Donald Trump's executive order that imposes a travel ban on citizens of six Muslim-majority nations, and said the visa ban was about national security and not a step against any religion.

Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii blocked Trump's 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Given the high court's looming summer recess-the spring term ends on June 26-the schedule is tight for everyone and tensions may run high this month even for the usually cool justices. Hawaii, which challenged the ban and won in the appeals court, is permitted to file its own brief on June 20, meaning the court is unlikely to act on the emergency application until next week at the earliest. Trump has said that the suspensions allow much-needed time to review the nation's immigration and refugee evaluation procedures to ensure potential terrorists aren't allowed to enter the country.

Trump's appointment of conservative Gorsuch has been his most significant win since taking office in January.

President Trump has promised to take the fight for the travel ban, one of his signature campaign promises, all the way to the Supreme Court.

Trump's visit to the court would be his first since he became president on January 20 and would put him face-to-face with the nine justices as they consider the fate of his travel ban unless the court acts before then.

One of the nominees, according to The Washington Times, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison H Eid, is being earmarked by the President to fill a vacancy on the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals which opened up when Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed for the Supreme Court in April. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court lifted that narrow part of their stay on the executive order while maintaining other stays that prevent wider implementation.

Lawsuits by Hawaii and Maryland challengers argued that the order violated federal immigration law and a section of the Constitution's First Amendment, which prohibits the government favouring or disfavoring any particular religion.

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