In victory for Trump, Supreme Court dismisses travel ban case

The Supreme Court discharged one of the challenges to a recently lapsed category of President Trump's travel ban and the legitimate battle over its latest efforts to forbid some immigrants will require starting afresh.

Opponents of the ban, who had persuaded the two appeals courts to block the executive order, said the court should continue to review the cases.

The Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the arguments in the lower courts - though, as USA Today points out, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor would have preferred that the case be dismissed without vacating the lower court's decision.

Lawyers representing Hawaii have asked a judge to stop the Trump administration from enforcing the latest version of its travel ban. 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.

In the one-paragraph order, the court said that because Trump's executive order "expired by its own terms" on September 24, "the appeal no longer presents a 'live case or controversy'".

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Meanwhile Hawaii, the plaintiff in the case that's still alive before the justices, filed an updated complaint in federal district court challenging the revised policy.

The Court is prevented from hearing disputes that are already moot.

"Plaintiffs retain an all-too-real stake in the outcome of the case", the group's attorney, Omar Jadwat, said in a filing to the court on October 5. By putting new versions of his ban in place after old versions expire, Trump may be able to roll the dice over and over again until he finds a version that the Court will deem acceptable.

The court's directive did not indicate a second ruling, by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. It also added three more countries: North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad.

The 4th Circuit case was brought by the International Refugee Assistance Project, which argued that banning travel from six majority-Muslim countries violated the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion. Unlike the earlier bans, it treats some countries and types of travelers, such as students or tourists, differently than others.

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