The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday agreed to review [opinion, PDF] the Trump administration’s travel ban, partially lifting the temporary injunction that had blocked the ban’s enforcement. The administration sought review [JURIST report] of decisions issued by the US Courts of Appeal for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits [official websites] last month. The Supreme Court’s order permits execution of the travel ban, but it “may not be enforced against an individual seeking admission as a refugee who can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The opinion, which was delivered per curiam, states that the lower courts’ injunctions:
bar enforcement of [the travel ban] against foreign nationals abroad who have no connection to the United States at all. The equities relied on by the lower courts do not balance the same way in that context. Denying entry to such a foreign national does not burden any American party by reason of that party’s relationship with the foreign national. And the courts below did not conclude that exclusion in such circumstances would impose any legally relevant hardship on the foreign national himself. So whatever burdens may result from enforcement of [the ban] against a foreign national who lacks any connection to this country, they are, at a minimum, a good deal less concrete than the hardships identified by the courts below.
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, dissented in part by asserting that “the preliminary injunctions entered in these cases should be stayed, although I would stay them in full.”
Cases concerning issues of immigration from predominantly Muslim countries continue to be processed in the Federal Judiciary. Last week the US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] denied in part [JURIST report] and granted in part a motion to dismiss a class action suit filed against President Donald Trump [official profile] and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) [official website]. On Thursday the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] temporarily blocked [JURIST report] the deportation of more than 100 Iraq nationals, arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] agents, for approximately two weeks, during which time the court will decide whether it has jurisdiction in the matter. Earlier this month the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled against [JURIST report; case materials] the majority of Trump’s revised executive order limiting travel from six Muslim-majority countries. That ruling affirmed [JURIST report] the majority of a district court injunction in March that blocked the order from being enforced. In May a federal district court in Washington granted a temporary restraining order [JURIST report] to allow legal aid groups to continue to provide certain kinds of assistance to undocumented immigrants. Five days prior a Michigan federal district court ordered [JURIST report] the Trump administration to disclose the draft of the so-called “Muslim ban” executive order.