The Trump administration is on the verge of mounting the ultimate legal challenge in order to uphold the travel ban executive order that has been twice shot down by activist lower courts, officially filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to take up the case.
This means that if four of the nine justices agree to hear Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Program — which resulted in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordering an injunction of the travel ban imposed on six Muslim-majority countries â€“ the case will officially progress to the nationâ€™s highest court.
On the back of a contentious campaign promise, Trump swiftly moved to impose a temporary 90-day travel ban that would allow his administration to come up with a better system for vetting refugees and reducing the potential influx of radicalized individuals who may seek to carry out terrorist attacks on American soil.
His efforts were first thwarted by the notoriously left-leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which prompted Trump to forge a new executive order designed to sidestep legal challenges. The revised travel ban was, in turn, shot down by the Fourth Circuit, which ruled that even though the ban did not specifically target Muslims, Trumpâ€™s campaign rhetoric is enough to transform it into a violation of the First Amendmentâ€™s Establishment Clause.
In the wake of the Fourth Circuitâ€™s latest ruling, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed that the Department of Justice would not stop fighting for the ban.
â€śThe Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the decision of the divided court, which blocks the Presidentâ€™s efforts to strengthen this countryâ€™s national security,â€ť he said in a statement last week. â€śAs the dissenting judges explained, the executive order is a constitutional exercise of the Presidentâ€™s duty to protect our communities from terrorism.â€ť
â€śThe 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,â€ť Sessions concluded.