The Supreme Court on Tuesday night dismissed one of the challenges to a now-expired version of President Trump’s travel ban, and the legal battle over his latest efforts to ban some immigrants will need to start anew.
There were no noted dissenters from the court’s decision not to hear arguments about the travel ban, although Justice Sonia Sotomayor would have left in place the precedent of the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
The court’s order did not mention a second ruling, by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. That probably is because that ruling also covered a temporary ban on refugees that expires this month. The court may then also vacate that ruling.
Trump issued a new proclamation about immigrants last month, and the administration had told the court that meant there was no reason for the justices to pass judgment on the old one. It asked that the lower-court rulings be erased.
Opponents of the ban, who had persuaded the two appeals courts to block the executive order, said the high court should continue to review the cases. Even if it didn’t, they said, the lower-court rulings should stand.
In the one-paragraph order, the court said that because Trump’s executive order “expired by its own terms” on Sept. 24, “the appeal no longer presents a ‘live case or controversy.’ ”
“Following our established practice in such cases, the judgment is therefore vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss as moot the challenge.”
The justices said they were not ruling on the merits of the issue.
The court had been…