Home / National News / What lies ahead for Trump's travel ban as the DOJ pursues Supreme Court review

 

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s continued attempts to limit travel and immigration from some Middle East and African countries was dealt its latest setback Thursday when the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier, temporary block of his executive order on the matter.

In the aftermath, Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged to “seek review of this case in the United States Supreme Court,” where a final decision could be offered and precedent potentially set for similar matters.

The Fourth Circuit heard the case on the executive order en banc, with all of the circuit’s judges, a rare step reserved for cases determined to be of exceptional importance. Typically, a case before the court of appeals is heard by three judges and can be reheard by those judges or en banc after the initial decision is handed down.

Because the case was already argued before the circuit’s full slate of judges, the next step for the Justice Department would be to petition the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, the official request for the country’s highest court to hear the case. The Supreme Court receives thousands of briefs each year and typically grants certiorari — accepting the case — to fewer than 100. At least four Supreme Court justices must approve the petition for certiorari to be granted.

A separate case on the executive order is currently under deliberation by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Should the panel of judges in that case decide for the government, signifying disagreement between circuits, it is more likely that the Supreme Court would be willing to hear the case quickly to settle the lower courts’ diverging opinions.

Should the case be accepted by the Supreme Court, the nine justice panel will have the opportunity to study the decisions from, and information provided to, the lower courts. They can also review amicus curiae briefs submitted by outside parties with an interest in the case before hearing oral arguments and questioning each side.

Not only can the justices then affirm or overturn the lower court’s decision, they also have the ability to send the case back to the circuit for review with additional information, evidence or context.

All the while, the decision of the lower court will continue to stand while the Justice Department continues to pursue the case.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Recent posts in National News