Yesterday evening, the United States Supreme Court dismissed Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, one of the two cases challenging President Trump’s National Security Executive Order. This is an important step toward a victory for our national security.
The Executive Order, issued on March 6th, paused entry into the United States of refugees and nationals from six unstable and/or terrorism-infested countries while the government reviewed immigration and refugee screening processes.
The dismissed case originated from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld an injunction from a Maryland federal court against Section 2(c) of the Executive Order. Section 2(c) paused entry into this country of certain nationals from the six countries of concern for 90 days.
Along with dismissing the case, the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Fourth Circuit, which means that decision cannot be used as precedent in the future. The Supreme Court took this step because Section 2(c) expired on September 24th. Thus, with the end of the 90-day suspension period, there is no longer a “live case or controversy” for a court to resolve so the case is moot.
Still pending at the Supreme Court is Trump v. Hawaii. That case deals with a Hawaii federal court’s injunction, upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, against Section 2(c) as well as against Section 6(a) and Section 6(b) of the Executive Order. Section 6(a) globally suspended refugee admissions for 120 days, and Section 6(b) imposed a refugee admission cap of 50,000 for fiscal year 2017.
The Supreme Court could still dismiss Trump v. Hawaii and vacate the Ninth Circuit’s decision later this month. The refugee admission cap ended on September 30th, and the 120-day suspension of refugee admissions expires on October 24th. As such, come October 24th, Trump v. Hawaii could also be considered a moot case.
The dismissal of these two cases, however, will not end the legal battle over the Trump Administration’s efforts to protect our national security.
On September 24th, President Trump issued a Proclamation to begin enhanced vetting procedures of foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States. You can read the ACLJ’s analysis of the Proclamation here. Soon after the Proclamation was issued, legal action was taken in the same Maryland and Hawaii federal courts to stop its implementation. Those cases are expected to eventually wind up at the Supreme Court. The ACLJ stands ready to file briefs in support of the Proclamation as we did in support of the Executive Order.
We will continue to keep you posted about these cases as well as about the other important work of the ACLJ.
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