The Supreme Court of The United States has removed the case against the travel ban from its arguments after President Trump declared he would implementing new travel restrictions.
This declaration was made just hours before his original executive order was set to expire which limited travel from eight countries considered “havens of terrorism” including Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
The justices were scheduled to hear the case yesterday but canceled the oral argument though it did not dismiss the case entirely.
“The parties are directed to file letter briefs addressing whether, or to what extent, the Proclamation issued on September 24, 2017, may render cases No. 16-1436 and 16-1540 moot. The parties should also address whether, or to what extent, the scheduled expiration of Sections 6(a) and 6(b) of Executive Order No. 13780 may render those aspects of case No. 16-1540 moot. The briefs, limited to 10 pages, are to be filed simultaneously with
the Clerk and served upon opposing counsel on or before noon, Thursday, October 5, 2017. The cases are removed from the oral argument calendar, pending further order of the Court. ”
A legal rule called the Munsingwear doctrine requires the vacatur of all lower court rulings in a case that is mooted while awaiting Supreme Court review, with several exceptions. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the Court’s vacatur order, but agreed that the challenge should be dismissed.
The 4th Circuit’s decision said that the ban “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
The justices removed the case from their calendar in late September, after scheduling it for oral arguments Oct. 10 during the summer.
The justices did not dismiss a second travel ban challenge brought by Hawaii. Where the case arising from the 4th Circuit concerned only the 90-day travel ban, the Hawaii case also challenges the 120-day ban on refugee resettlement, which will not expire until later this year. Tuesday’s order strongly suggests that the justices will dismiss the Hawaii case once the refugee resettlement provision terminates.