WASHINGTON, D.C. — At least four more Supreme Court Justices signed on to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s stay of the Ninth and Fourth Circuits Tuesday, keeping President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries in place until the final case is heard this October.
On Monday, Justice Kennedy issued a stay at the request of the Department of Justice, blocking a preliminary injunction previously upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That court, refusing to upset the ruling of federal District Judge Derrick Watson, sought to prevent the federal government from excluding “grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in United States” from the countries covered in the ban. Tuesday, at least five Justices agreed to stay the injunction but offered no further reasoning.
DOJ spokesman Ian Prior expressed his department’s pleasure with this development in the case, telling Breitbart News, “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has allowed the government to keep in place the protections for the Nation’s safety and security provided by the Executive Order. We look forward to full argument on October 10th.”
As Prior noted, the final resolution of this case, Trump v. Hawaii, joined to Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, will come in the Court’s fall term. After oral arguments, the court will decide the fate of President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, the administration’s second attempt at a travel ban from Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia, as well as putting a hard limit on refugee admissions.
Since its issuance, the order has been the subject of intense litigation, with the country’s more liberal-leaning district and appeals courts repeatedly striking it down on constitutional and statutory grounds. So far, each time the case has reached the Supreme Court, the justices have acted to reinstate portions of the ban.
The fact that at least five justices signed on to Tuesday’s stay may bode well for the DOJ’s case.