Trump delays effective date of travel ban amid court battle

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The court's processing of the Trump Administration's appeals in the two cases has been slowed down a bit because one of the lower court decisions it is now being asked to review just came out on Monday, when the other case was almost finished with the filing of briefs.

On Wednesday, Trump issued a presidential memorandum clarifying the expiration date of his revamped travel ban, which would have stopped nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days and paused the nation's refugee program for 120 days.

Today's unanimous ruling noted, "The President's authority is subject to certain statutory and constitutional restraints", but that Trump's revised executive order "exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress".

Some critics of the travel ban have said that the policy's 90-day halt to visitors from Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Libya is due to expire in mid-June, even though the ban itself has never taken effect.

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The Supreme Court has asked the federal government and states challenging the ban to submit arguments.

As in previous rulings, the appeals panel cited remarks by Trump that seemed to contradict his administration's attorneys, who had argued that the order, despite the president's rhetoric, was narrow in scope and not discriminatory in nature. Trump nominated Gorsuch in January. They are also considering a separate case, from Maryland, that was decided in May by a different appeals court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Two federal appeals courts have since upheld those lower court orders. In both cases, lower court judges have refused to allow enforcement, and have ruled that the executive order probably violated federal immigration laws (the result in the Hawaii case in the Ninth Circuit) or probably violated the Constitution (in the Maryland case in the Fourth Circuit). The second order was meant to overcome the legal issues posed by the original ban, but was blocked by judges before it could go into effect on March 16.

While the dispute over the travel ban and other controversies have simmered during Trump's first few months in office, his choice of the 49-year-old Gorsuch for the Supreme Court won widespread praise in the legal community as well as unanimous Republican support in the Senate.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to press the Supreme Court to take up the issue.

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