#BackTheBan: Supreme Court Expedites Trump Travel Ban Case

The case is Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, No. 16-1436. And it’s going to be heard!

In a rare move, the Supreme Court rapidly accelerated the schedule for the case involving the Fourth Circuit’s blocking of Trump’s travel ban.

Executive Order 13780 (EO) was passed on March 6th. Section 2(c) temporarily restricted travel from six Muslim-majority countries associated with terrorism

Well, you probably know the rest. Immigration activists sued. A liberal federal judge in Maryland granted a preliminary injunction blocking the ban. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the injunction.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition for review at the Supreme Court on Thursday. Under the Court’s rules, a response from the plaintiffs would be due July 3. By that time the Court would be on recess for the summer, meaning that the justices would vote at the Court’s annual pre-Term conference, which will take place on September 25, on whether to take the case. That would typically mean hearing arguments in December or January, with a final decision coming down in early or mid-2018.

Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall at DOJ also asked Chief Justice John Roberts (who supervises the Fourth Circuit) to stay the appellate court’s decision until the justices can decide the matter.

On Friday, the Supreme Court rapidly expedited everything. The ACLU—which represents the plaintiffs—have been ordered to file their response by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, June 12. The ACLU lawyers must also respond to DOJ’s application for a stay by that time.


The Court could vote immediately on whether to take the case, or could do so shortly afterwards.

Normally the Court would then hear arguments in October and issue their decision by the end of 2017.

But it is possible there could be an accelerated briefing on an emergency basis, then hold arguments over the summer, or even in June before the summer recess.

We may know as soon as June 12th what is going to happen.

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