By Steve Neavling
The Justice Department is appealing an injunction on President Trump’s travel ban, even though a significant portion of the ban is set to expire by the Oct. 10 court date.
Even more, the entire ban is likely to expire by the time the justices rule on the case, the Washington Post’s Editorial Board wrote.
The Justice Department is appealing a federal court’s ruling against the Trump administration’s temporary travel ban of refugees and residents of six majority-Muslim countries.
The Post wrote:
Mr. Trump’s order halts entry into the United States by citizens of the six banned countries for 90 days and suspends refugee admissions for 120 days. After courts blocked the ban, Mr. Trump clarified that these clocks would begin ticking as soon as the policy was allowed to go into effect. Because the Supreme Court lifted in part the lower-court injunctions against the order on June 26, the refugee ban will expire in late October, and the entry ban at the end of September.
As a matter of law, the Supreme Court can’t rule on a case that no longer presents an ongoing issue. Yet the Justice Department hasn’t given any indication of awareness that the court might well dismiss the case without deciding whether the ban is legal. Not only is the department now battling over an injunction on a policy that likely expires in two weeks, but its opening brief before the Supreme Court didn’t even address the issue.
If the White House wants to keep the case alive, Mr. Trump could declare that the clock has yet to start with respect to those immigrants and refugees with “bona fide” connections to the United States, for whom the ban has remained on pause. Or he might extend the order on the grounds that the government has been unable to conduct reviews of vetting procedures — ostensibly what the halt in travel was meant to allow — without the ban fully in place. He could even issue a new ban or make the existing order permanent.