Trump Administration Asks SCOTUS to Reinstate 'Muslim Ban'

The US Supreme Court has set a deadline for challengers to President Donald Trump's travel ban executive order to respond to the government's emergency request to reinstate it, the media reported.

If the court agrees with Trump, the 90-day ban on people entering the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen will be immediately revived.

The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals called the national security concerns an after-the-fact justification for a policy that was "rooted in religious animus and meant to bar Muslims from this country". But it's certain to be closely-watched as an early case involving Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch and the newly-reconstituted nine-justice bench. The first one, issued in January, was quickly halted by courts after the initial implementation of the directive prompted chaos at various United States airports.

The travel ban was deemed unconstitutional and made ineffective shortly after. Watson, relying upon statements that the Trump made as a candidate for the presidency, held that the "stated secular goal of the Executive Order is at the very least secondary to a religious objective of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims" in violation of the Constitution. The administration also wants to halt the US refugee program for 120 days.

"Regardless of whether a stay is granted, the government respectfully requests expedited briefing and consideration of its petition of a writ of certiorari", said the Trump team on Thursday. It is unclear if the current case could be preserved if the order is allowed to expire without the Supreme Court ruling. The administration also wants the Supreme Court to hear the underlying dispute possibly as soon as this fall and rule one way or another.

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Also dubbed the "Muslim ban", it was suspended in February by a Washington state district court judge after several people sued Trump's administration following the ban's introduction in January.

Administration attorneys maintain the president has broad constitutional authority to control immigration and national security, adding those circuit judges should consider only the executive order's language, not second-guess presidential motivations.

The move comes after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled 10-3 along ideological lines last week that the ban discriminated against Muslims in violation of the First Amendment.

It would take the votes of five of the nine Justices to allow the government to start enforcing the executive order, but the votes of only four to grant review of the legality of the immigration restrictions.

Acting solicitor general Jeffrey Wall has said that the ruling in the Hawaii case has prevented the government from moving forward on those objectives.

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Our first step will be to ask the Supreme Court to refuse to stay the Fourth Circuit's decision, which was supported by a large majority of the judges on the full court and is consistent with rulings from other courts across the nation.

Meanwhile, the 9 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet decided whether the Hawaii judge's order was proper.

Trump's administration is battling temporary injunctions on the travel restrictions on two separate fronts through cases that originated in Hawaii and Maryland.

Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said the justices shouldn't disturb court rulings that are keeping the travel ban on hold.

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