Supreme Court blocks changes to Trump's travel ban, at least temporarily

Monday morning the Justice Department made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court on behalf of President Trump’s travel ban. A few hours later, Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled in the administration’s favor. From the Hill:

In a one-page order signed by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court temporarily blocked the part of last week’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that barred the government from prohibiting refugees that have formal assurances from resettlement agencies or are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program from entering the U.S.

Kennedy said that part of the decision is stayed pending the receipt of a response from the state of Hawaii. That response that is due by noon on Tuesday.

Last week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that two different groups previously blocked from entering the U.S. under the travel ban would now be considered exempt. The first group was extended family of people already in the U.S., including grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Under the ban, only children and parents of people living in the U.S. were previously considered exempt. In the appeal today, the Trump administration did not challenge that portion of the 9th Circuit’s ruling.

The administration did challenge the portion dealing with refugees who have assurances from resettlement agencies.

“Unlike students who have been admitted to study at an American university, workers who have accepted jobs at an American company, and lecturers who come to speak to an American audience, refugees do not have any freestanding connection to resettlement agencies, separate and apart from the refugee-admissions process itself, by virtue of the agencies’ assurance agreement with the government,” Wall wrote.

“Nor can the exclusion of an assured refugee plausibly be thought to ‘burden’ a resettlement agency in the relevant sense.”

The resettlement issue applies to 24,000 refugees. They will no longer be allowed to enter the country at least until the court rules on the matter after receiving the response from Hawaii tomorrow.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the ban October 10th. However, it’s not clear if the temporary ban, part of which was only scheduled to last 90 days, will have expired by the time SCOTUS hears the arguments.