The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a case against President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order restricting travel and immigration from several terror-prone states on Tuesday.
The reason: the president issued a new version of the order last month that replaces the older version that had been the subject of litigation in the Fourth Circuit, rendering the case moot.
Though many lower federal courts in liberal circuits ruled against the executive order, the Trump administration was set for victory in June, when the Supreme Court lifted an injunction against the enforcement of the so-called “travel ban,” leaving the case to be argued in the fall. As Breitbart News noted at the time (original link):
Monday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the injunction against most of President Donald Trump’s “travel ban” is a major victory — and not just because he will be able to implement the policy, but because the case is only scheduled to be heard in the fall, i.e. in October at the earliest.
Because most of the controversial provisions of the executive order only last 90 days, Trump it could be fully implemented before the Court hears the case.
The Court is prevented from hearing disputes that are already moot. There must be an active case or controversy in order for challenges to the executive order to be heard.
Trump can “win” simply by following through on the executive order, then declaring it fulfilled before the Court hears the various challenges to the case, cutting the Gordian Knot of legal theories and advancing his policies.
The president went even further, issuing an executive order that includes two non-Muslim countries — North Korea and Venezuela — among the seven that are subject to the new restrictions. That fact would make any claim of religious discrimination less likely to prevail.
The Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the arguments in the lower courts — though, as USA Today points out, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor would have preferred that the case be dismissed without vacating the lower court’s decision. Another case that is pending from the Ninth Circuit is also likely to be vacated. There are already lawsuits in both circuits against the new executive order, but the fight is largely over, and Trump has won.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.