Supreme Court throws out travel ban ruling

The Supreme Court on Tuesday scrapped one of the legal challenges to President Trump's travel ban, saying the new policy the White House announced late last month supersedes the older policy. But after the travel ban expired last month and a new policy was rolled out, the court canceled the argument and began to weigh whether it should decide the legality of the policy after all. She would have dismissed "the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted" in the International Refugee case - a result that still would have removed the case from the Court's docket, but that would have left previous orders concerning the case in place.

The ruling is a victory for the Trump administration, which had asked the court to drop the case after Trump signed a proclamation September 24 that replaced the temporary travel ban on six nations with a new, indefinite ban affecting eight countries.

The International Refugee Assistance Project pushed the court to hear the case. Though the order explicitly states that the Court expresses "no view on the merits" of the case, it is not good news for opponents of the ban.

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

That action made the court challenge moot, the justices ruled.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the court's action.

Under its original schedule, the court would have heard the case Tuesday, but had delayed oral argument after Trump replaced his earlier order.

The second ban had prevented travel to the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

However, any effort by the court to clear the decks of the travel ban issue is likely to be short-lived. It asked the lower court rulings be erased.

The president went even further, issuing an executive order that includes two non-Muslim countries - North Korea and Venezuela - among the seven that are subject to the new restrictions. There are already lawsuits in both circuits against the new executive order, but the fight is largely over, and Trump has won.

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