Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: October 10, 2017
  • Case #: 16-1436
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per curiam. J. Sotomayor dissented from the order and would have dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.
  • Full Text Opinion

Pursuant to the Court's "established practice," the September 2017 expiration of the ninety-day term for the President's travel ban—of foreign nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering into the U.S.—leaves Respondents' Establishment Clause challenge moot.

The President of the United States issued two executive orders. The first suspended "any aliens" travelling from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the U.S. for ninety days, and the second, amended order clarified the foreign nationals who were subject to the ninety-day prohibition. Respondents are American citizens, lawful residents, or organizations with family members or clients who sought entry into the U.S. from the prohibited countries. Respondents sued the President, seeking a declaratory judgment and preliminary and permanent injunctions against the implementation of the executive orders. Respondent argued the President embraced "anti-Muslim" sentiment, indicated by campaign speeches, which were the motive for the executive orders, and which violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The federal district court granted a preliminary injunction and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. The U.S. government petitioned the court to reverse the preliminary injunctive relief and the Court granted certiorari to determine whether: 1) the Second Executive Order was justiciable, 2) the ban violated the Establishment Clause, and 3) the injunction was overbroad. The Court also granted a stay of the injunction and requested supplemental briefing related to whether the issues were moot upon expiration of the ninety days. In a summary disposition, without reviewing the merits, the Court determined the case was moot, because the expiration of the Second Executive Order left the parties with no "live case or controversy," based on the Court's "established practice." VACATED and REMANDED.

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