Let the travel ban expire, Mr. President

Trump speaks at the 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court on Monday to put on hold a federal appeals court ruling from last week that narrowed the scope of the travel ban as it applies to a certain class of refugees.

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court order providing that refugees who "have a formal assurance from an agency within the United States that the agency will provide, or ensure the provision of, reception and placement services to that refugee" are not subject to the ban. After courts blocked the ban, Trump clarified that these clocks would begin ticking as soon as the policy was allowed to go into effect.

Justice Department lawyers asked the high court Monday to allow authorities to keep up a block on many refugees covered by Trump's ban.

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The Trump administration is back at the Supreme Court, asking the justices to continue to allow strict enforcement of a temporary ban on refugees from around the world. The Justice Department said it disagreed with that interpretation, but noted the U.S. Supreme Court had refused to disturb that finding pending appeal.

In a one-page ruling, signed by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court announced that the exemption would be stayed pending a response from the state of Hawaii.

The Trump administration said it should not, meaning such refugees would be barred.

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The countries that weren't supplying adequate information were then to be given 50 days to begin doing so, and after that, top USA officials were to give Trump a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a more permanent travel ban.

Permitting the ban to expire would let the administration save face while avoiding the risk of a damaging Supreme Court decision that could not only strike down the order but also place lasting constraints on presidential power over immigration and national security. By that point, the original 90-day travel ban will have lapsed and the 120-day refugee ban will have just a few weeks to run. A hearing is scheduled for October 10.

"Unlike students who have been admitted to study at an American university, workers who have accepted jobs at an American company, and lecturers who come to speak to an American audience, refugees do not have any freestanding connection to resettlement agencies, separate and apart from the refugee-admissions process itself, by virtue of the agencies" assurance agreement with the government.

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