Trump appeals travel ban case to Supreme Court

The Trump administration late Thursday asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its travel ban that would block citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. 

The administration filed two emergency applications with the Supreme Court seeking to block lower-level court rulings that had previously halted Trump's March 6 executive order, Reuters reported Thursday.

The revised order banned citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days, as well as temporarily suspending the refugee program, while the government implemented a stricter visa screening process.

In a statement, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said the department had "asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and [is] confident that President Trump's executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism.

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"The president is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States," the statement continued.

The Supreme Court late Friday asked for a group fighting the ban, the International Refugee Assistance Project, to respond to the government's request by 3 p.m. on June 12, signaling it could be interested in hearing the case.

The Justice Department filed two emergency applications late Thursday night asking the court to block both the 4th Circuit Court ruling and the Hawaii district court ruling halting the revised order Trump issued on March 6 after his first travel ban was shot down by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Trump administration also filed a separate request for the court to hear its appeal of the 4th Circuit's 10-3 ruling last which in which the court said  Trump’s executive order "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination."

After the Richmond, Va.-based federal appeals court refused to reinstate the ban, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds Five takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Amash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' MORE said in a statement that the administration “strongly disagrees” with a federal court’s decision to keep the order in place, calling the travel ban “a constitutional exercise of the President’s duty to protect our communities from terrorism.”

Sessions said then that the department “will seek review of this case in the United States Supreme Court.” 

The 9th Circuit ruled against Trump’s first travel order, which he signed a week after his inauguration, after it was blocked by Washington District Court judge.

Trump said he revised the order — removing Iraq from the list of banned counties, as well as the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and language giving preference to religious minorities when the refugee program resumed — to address the court’s concerns.

Trump vowed in March that he would appeal the multiple rulings against his travel ban, threatening to take the case to the Supreme Court.

– Lydia Wheeler contributed

Updated: 6:27 p.m.