Trump admin amends travel ban date to keep legal battle alive

Posted June 21, 2017

The challengers could still argue that even with a postponed effective date, the clock is now running, because the Ninth Circuit on Monday allowed the administration to go forward with provisions of the executive order directing an internal review of vetting procedures.

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

President Donald Trump amended his embattled travel ban to address arguments being made at the U.S. Supreme Court that it would expire Wednesday under its original wording.

The executive order provisions that the Administration wants to put into effect are a 90-day suspension of entry into the USA of foreign nationals from six Mideast nations, and a 120-day suspension of entry of any refugees from anywhere in the world.

In an added dramatic twist, Trump himself plans to go to the Supreme Court on Thursday for the investiture of Justice Neil Gorsuch, an administration official said. The state of Hawaii, which has challenged the ban, has suggested a shorter briefing schedule.

Trump's appointment of conservative Gorsuch has been his most significant win since taking office in January. The injunctions blocking the ban were upheld on appeal. "As the government says, there is no doubt that this executive order 'has been the subject of passionate political debate.' But whatever one's views, 'the precedent set by this case for the judiciary's proper role in reviewing the president's national security and immigration authority will transcend this debate, this order, and this constitutional moment'". Press secretary Sean Spicer dismissed the ruling, and said the White House remained confident it would be vindicated by the Supreme Court.

The circuit court also held that Trump failed in the executive order to "reveal any threat or harm to warrant suspension of [refugee admissions] for 120 days and does not support the conclusion that the entry of refugees in the interim time period would be harmful".

In the second case, the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on May 25 upheld the Maryland judge's ruling. The Supreme Court is weighing emergency applications in both cases, but is likely to act on them together. The executive order was set to expire 90 days from its initial issuance, which means tomorrow.