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Supreme Court wraps up final argument session of term with travel ban case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] Wednesday in Trump v. Hawaii [transcript, PDF; audio], challenging the latest version of President Donald Trump's ban on entry to the US from certain Muslim-majority countries.

When granting certiorari [JURIST report] in January, the court agreed to consider the following questions presented [cert. petition, PDF] by the government:

1. Whether respondents' challenge to the President's suspension of entry of aliens abroad is justiciable.

2. Whether the Proclamation is a lawful exercise of the President's authority to suspend entry of aliens abroad.

3. Whether the global injunction is impermissibly overbroad.

In addition to the questions presented by petitioners, the court also directed the parties to brief and argue the following question presented [brief in opposition, PDF] by the respondent state of Hawaii: "Whether Proclamation No. 9645 violates the Establishment Clause."

The Supreme Court had previously stayed the lower court order and allowed enforcement [JURIST report] of the travel ban pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

At Wednesday's argument session, US Solicitor General Noel Francisco said that the revised, September 2017 order came after "a worldwide multi-agency review," framing the ban as narrowly tailored to support national security. Neal Katyal, counsel for the respondents, framed the ban as impermissible discrimination based on nationality.

Analysts believe that a majority of the court appears poised to rule in the US government's favor [SCOTUSblog report]. A decision is expected by June.

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