The U.S. Supreme Court made a surprise move on Friday accelerating the rumination of a huge case, hastening the schedule for reassessing the Fourth Circuit court’s obstruction of President Trump’s travel ban.
The President issued the executive order on March 6, with which people from six Muslim-majority countries that are also known terror hot spots have been forbidden access in the U.S. while the country implemented stricter vetting procedures to make safe the country.
Pro-immigration organizations issued lawsuits, along with several immigrants with their families. In Maryland, a liberal federal district judge gave a preliminary injunction in a 10-3 decision, deciding that the EO broke the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, and taking the almost unprecedented decision of all the court’s judges hear the case, instead of giving it to a three-judge team.
The Justice Department issued a petition for review at the Supreme Court on Thursday. With the regulations of the Court, an answer from the plaintiffs would be scheduled for July 3.
By that time, the court will be on a summer break, which means the justices would vote at the Court’s yearly preterm conference that is due for September 25 whether or not to accept the case. This basically means hearing statements in December or January, with a verdict being made at the start or mid-2018.
Jeff Wall, the acting Solicitor General at the Justice Department also asked Chief Justice John Roberts, who oversees the Fourth Circuit, to come with the appellate court’s decision till the judges can come with a ruling on the issue.
On Friday, the high court accelerated the process. The ACLU — which represents the plaintiffs — have ordered to issue their reaction by 3:00 p.m. on June 12. The ACLU attorneys have to respond to the Justice Department’s application for a stay by that time.
The Court could then clearly vote whether or not to take the case, or shortly after that. With a normal briefing timetable, the Court would listen to statements in October, and come to a decision by the end of the year.
There also exists the possibility that the high court could hasten briefing on an emergency basis and hold arguments throughout the summer, or possibly in June before they take their summer break. The Supreme Court could come with a decision by June 12 about which course they are taking.
The case is Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, No. 16-1436.
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