Published on: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court granted the government’s request to stay lower court injunctions that prevented the President’s September 24 proclamation, known as the revised “travel ban,” from being enforced.  The September 24 Proclamation limits entry into the United States of nationals from five countries (Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria) which were covered in an earlier March 6 order, plus three new countries (North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad) which were not covered previously.  The stays were entered in two separate cases: (1) Trump v. Hawaii, 17A550 (U.S. Dec. 4, 2017) (order here) (stay application here) (pending oral argument in the Ninth Circuit); and (2) Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance, 17A560 (U.S. Dec. 4, 2017) (order here)  (stay application here) (pending appeal in the Fourth Circuit).   While the orders do not reveal the Court's reasoning, the government's stay applications emphasized, among other things, that:

The Proclamation differs from the President’s prior executive orders both in process and substance. It is the product of a review process undertaken by multiple Cabinet officers and government officials, none of whose motives has ever been questioned. And it is based on express findings of inadequacies in the information-sharing practices, identity-management protocols, and risk factors for certain countries, as well as a Presidential determination that tailored entry restrictions will both protect the Nation and encourage those countries to improve. The Proclamation covers different countries than the prior orders: it removes one majority-Muslim country; adds other countries, some of which are not majority-Muslim; and excludes various nonimmigrant travelers from all but one of the majority-Muslim countries. These differences confirm that the Proclamation is  based on national-security and foreign-affairs objectives, not religious animus.

The orders stay lower court preliminary injunction orders pending disposition in the Courts of Appeal, and if necessary, disposition of the government’s petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court.  Noting the Courts of Appeal are reviewing the cases “on an expedited basis,” the Supreme Court expects the Courts of Appeals will render their decisions “with appropriate dispatch.”  Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor would have denied the government’s stay application.

The Training Division provides resources to Criminal Justice Act attorneys about:  (1) immigration offenses involving non-citizens; (2) immigration consequences of conviction; and (3) recorded webinars on various topics related to representing non-citizens in criminal proceedings.