Trump admin amends travel ban date to keep legal battle alive

Credit Alisdare Hickson Flickr

Credit Alisdare Hickson Flickr

On Wednesday, Trump issued a presidential memorandum clarifying the expiration date of his revamped travel ban, which would have stopped nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days and paused the nation's refugee program for 120 days.

As for Gorsuch's investiture ceremony, there will probably be no explicit talk of Trump's travel ban but the controversial executive order will surely loom large nonetheless.

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Some critics of the travel ban have said that the policy's 90-day halt to visitors from Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Libya is due to expire in mid-June, even though the ban itself has never taken effect.

Wall suggested a briefing schedule that would run to June 21. The Trump administration has said it is needed to protect national security. Hawaii, which challenged the ban and won in the appeals court, is permitted to file its own brief on June 20, meaning the court is unlikely to act on the emergency application until next week at the earliest. Gorsuch's confirmation by the U.S. Senate in April restored the court's 5-4 conservative majority.

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"The President is committed to protecting the American people and our national security, and we are proud to support his mission to put America first by defending his right to keep us safe", Sessions said, adding, "This is the reason why the Department of Justice will continue to seek further review by the Supreme Court".

Lawsuits by Hawaii and Maryland challengers argued that the order violated federal immigration law and a section of the Constitution's First Amendment, which prohibits the government favouring or disfavoring any particular religion. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court lifted that narrow part of their stay on the executive order while maintaining other stays that prevent wider implementation. Because he issued the ban back in March, those 90 days are up this week. The injunctions blocking the ban were upheld on appeal. The second order was meant to overcome the legal issues posed by the original ban, but was blocked by judges before it could go into effect on March 16.

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ABC News contributor Kate Shaw said Wednesday's memorandum "clarifies and amends the executive order, effectively neutralizing one of the plaintiffs' key arguments against both a stay and cert - that the order expired" on Wednesday.

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