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. The court said it expressed "no views on the merits" of the case. Those questions are likely to return to the court soon, perhaps even this term.
The Supreme Court in June agreed to take up the two cases and allowed the travel ban, which had been blocked by lower courts, to go into effect with certain changes. Since its 90-day time limit had expired, the court decided the case should expire, too.
Trump had promised as a candidate "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States". The justices also instructed the two sides to file briefs, due last week, addressing whether the challenges are moot in the wake of Trump's proclamation and the scheduled expiration of the March 6 order's temporary suspension of the admission of refugees on October 24.
Hawaii also filed a proposed amended lawsuit Tuesday targeting the newest policy and adding plaintiffs who lawyers say it harms.
The Court is prevented from hearing disputes that are already moot.
The justices noted that the provision of the travel ban had expired and that the case no longer presents "a live case or controversy".
Yesterday, the Supreme Court quashed the appeal decision on the Maryland ruling, with the suspension in Hawaii still valid but its days likely numbered. The ruling is a victory for the Trump administration, which had asked the court to drop the case after Trump signed a proclamation September 24 that replaced the temporary travel ban on six nations with a new, indefinite ban affecting eight countries.