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Travel Ban Update: Supreme Court Dismisses One of Two Cases Against Expired Travel Ban

The Supreme Court has dismissed one of the challenges to the now-expired Trump travel ban. The Court addressed the case stemming from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which had previously ruled that the March travel ban violated the Constitution’s protections against religious discrimination.

In a one-paragraph order, the Court dismissed the case and vacated the appeals court’s decision — meaning it cannot be used as precedent. The Court stated that because the executive order expired on September 24, “the appeal no longer presents a live case or controversy.” In other words, the case was dismissed as moot.

A separate challenge, based on a decision of the 9th Circuit, is still pending before the Court. This is likely due to the fact that the suspension of the refugee program addressed in that opinion is in effect until late October. However, the Court is likely to dismiss the case once the refugee suspension expires.

Keep in mind, the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the major legal issues presented by the now-expired travel ban. This means that the new travel restrictions announced by the Trump administration will likely meet familiar challenges. With arguably more expansive restrictions imposed on eight countries, this immigration controversy is far from over. The new ban takes effect on October 18, and a new round of litigation is already underway in the 4th and 9th circuits.

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