Supreme Court tosses out a challenge to Trump's travel ban

By Sara Shayanian  |  Oct. 11, 2017 at 9:47 AM
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Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court dismissed a major challenge to President Donald Trump's travel ban on residents of some Muslim-majority countries because of its replacement with a newer version.

The travel ban on residents of six Muslim-majority countries, including Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, expired Sept. 24, making the International Refugee Assistance Project's case against the ban moot, the court ruled Tuesday.

Although the court initially agreed to hear two cases challenging the order on Oct. 10, the arguments were canceled after Trump issued new restrictions.

Trump's new ban restricts travelers from five of the six countries on his original list. It also added three more countries: North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad.

"Because that provision of the order 'expired by its own terms' on September 24, 2017, the appeal no longer presents a 'live case or controversy'," the Supreme Court summary said.

The ruling is a victory for the Trump administration, as their attorneys asked the court to drop the case after issuing the updated ban this fall.

Challengers urged for the court to deem the case "improvidently granted" -- meaning previous lower court decisions would be left in place, allowing the two sides to renew a dispute over the new ban.

The ban's challengers also argued that the case against the last version should go forward because many of the same travelers in the initial band are being targeted by the new ban, which has an indefinite time frame.

"The 90-day ban on their relatives has now been converted into an indefinite ban with the potential to separate their families, and thousands of others', for years," an attorney for the International Refugee Assitance Project said.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only judge to dismiss the case as improvidently granted, saying she would have preserved the appeal's court ruling against the ban rather than vacating it all together.

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