Timeline: Trump travel ban's road to the Supreme Court 

Timeline: Trump travel ban's road to the Supreme Court 
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The battle over President Trump's controversial travel ban is set to peak in the coming weeks when it lands at the Supreme Court after ricocheting through the judicial system since January. 
 
Justices agreed earlier this summer to allow the executive order to partially take effect pending oral arguments in October, after months of the ban being bogged down by legal challenges.
 
It’s been a tumultuous road for the policy, which has been put on ice by federal judges, revised by government lawyers and narrowed by the high court.
 
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Here is a timeline of the travel ban’s journey to the Supreme Court.
 
January: Trump's initial order

A week after taking office in late January, Trump issued an executive order aimed at temporarily banning travel from seven countries while the U.S. government reviewed and strengthened its vetting procedures.
 
The effort was supposed to be a signature policy achievement for Trump, who had previously called for banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. when he was on the campaign trail.

Trump’s order barred people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia from entering the U.S. for 90 days; halted the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days; and indefinitely suspended the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
 
Chaos, protests and legal challenges erupted over the order, enveloping Trump's young administration in controversy. A week later, a federal judge in Washington state put the entire travel ban on hold, and a federal appeals court in San Francisco refused to lift the nationwide restraining order against the ban in February. 

Early March: Travel ban 2.0

The White House went back to the drawing board after the order's initial legal hurdles, with government lawyers crafting a new travel ban specifically tailored to pass legal muster, using the previous ruling as a playbook.
 
Trump signed a revised order behind closed doors in March that gave agencies and stakeholders more than a week to prepare for the new changes, while revoking the initial version of the ban.
 
In the new order, the White House sought to temper backlash by dropping Iraq from the list of targeted countries for the travel ban, explicitly exempted legal permanent residents and those who already have a valid visa to come to the U.S., and removed the indefinite restriction on the admission of Syrian refugees.
 
The administration also stripped language that would have given preference to religious minorities — such as Christians from the Middle East — once refugee resettlement resumes. That provision gave fuel to critics who labeled the previous policy a ban on Muslims.
 
The new order also included a specific list of who may qualify for a waiver to the ban, which could be provided on a case-by-case basis.
 
Mid-March: Maryland and Hawaii judges block new order
 
Despite the key changes, core components of Trump's revised ban were still put on ice by two different federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii before the policy even took effect.
 
The 4th and 9th Circuits largely agreed to uphold the lower court rulings, though the appeals courts found different reasons to do so.
 
The administration asked the Supreme Court to step in but had to tweak the order so that it wouldn’t expire in the meantime.
 
A frustrated Trump lashed out in early June over the revised ban still being held up in the court system.
 
“The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.,” the president wrote on Twitter.
 
June: Supreme Court allows partial ban to take effect
 
In late June, the Supreme Court decided to allow a limited version of the order to finally take effect, delivering a win to the administration after months of legal setbacks. The high court also agreed to hear the government’s appeal of the lower court rulings that froze the ban.
 
Trump declared the unanimous Supreme Court decision "a clear victory for our national security."
 
But the Supreme Court carved out new criteria that narrowed the scope of the revised ban’s reach. Justices said that the ban could only apply to refugees and travelers who do not have a “bona fide” relationship to a person or entity in the U.S.
 
The administration issued guidance to clarify exactly who is and isn’t covered under the new criteria. The White House said travelers from affected countries can only come to the U.S. to visit spouses, fiancés, parents, parents-in-law, children, adult sons or daughters, siblings, step- or half-siblings, or sons- and daughters-in-law.
 
The policy excluded entry for visiting cousins, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews as well as brothers- and sisters-in-law. The White House originally excluded fiancés from the definition but abruptly reversed course following outcry over the issue.
 
Late summer: Debate over 'bona fide' status

The debate over who qualifies as having a "bona fide" connection to the U.S. continued to rage in the weeks after the partial ban took effect.
 
There was intense backlash over the ban applying to grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as refugees who have a relationship or agreement with a resettlement agency.
 
Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the government from denying entry to grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members of a person in the U.S.
 
The federal appeals court also said the administration cannot ban refugees who have formal assurances from resettlement agencies or are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
 
But the Supreme Court stepped in on Tuesday to lift some of those restrictions until further notice, allowing the ban to apply to refugees who are connected to U.S. resettlement programs.
 
October: Supreme Court

The legal battle over Trump's ban now heads to the Supreme Court, which is sure to bring fresh debate to the administration's approach to national security and handling of foreign nationals.
 
Justices will hear arguments on Oct. 10 in the two cases challenging the travel ban, which have been consolidated into one case.
 
It's unclear when a ruling will come down, but it could take months before a decision on the case is reached.