Trump asks Supreme Court to reinstate travel ban

Additionally, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to allow the federal government to begin enforcing the second version of the ban while the case is being appealed.

It cited statements made on last year's campaign trail which make it clear the executive order stems from "President Trump's desire to exclude Muslims from the United States".

If the government's request is granted the ban would go into effect. Courts have historically been deferential in this area, and recent presidents including Carter, Reagan and Obama have used it to deny entry to certain refugees and diplomats, including from nations such as Iran, Cuba, and North Korea.

"Even though it's a heavy lift getting a stay, it seems to me that the Supreme Court is the most favorable court they've had access to so far", said John Elwood, a Washington lawyer. If at least five justices vote to let the travel ban take effect, there's a good chance they also would uphold the policy later on.

Another appeals court, on the west coast, has yet to rule on whether to uphold a similar ban issued by a federal judge in Hawaii. Or to put it another way, what are the factors that Kennedy will weigh in gauging the bans' legality? The lower courts were wrong, the Justice Department said, to apply the enforcement ban nationwide. The Court needs four justices to agree to hear that case, which it's pretty likely to get, but since the Court is about to recess for the summer, it probably wouldn't hear oral arguments until next fall, and will issue a ruling sometime after that.

It said that the the government's national security argument was a "secondary justification for an executive order rooted in religious animus and meant to bar Muslims from this country".

It has also asked the Supreme Court to hear the appeal case shortly meaning that could happen by the end of June.

Thursday night's petition will be referred to the full court and the justices will likely ask for a response from the challengers.

The Supreme Court acts on such requests based on the legal papers without hearing arguments. That could happen within days. Challengers will argue for the latter, which would mean it is nearly set to expire.

Legendary journalist Lyle Denniston is Constitution Daily's Supreme Court correspondent.

The ACLU and another organization, the National Immigration Law Center, sued over the travel ban.

The request came in three separate petitions to courts in Richmond, Va., and San Francisco that blocked the president's executive order barring most immigrants from countries deemed at risk for terrorism, as well as global refugees.

The March 6 executive order sought to impose a 90-day suspension on entry into the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, citing terrorism risks and the perceived inability of their governments to provide appropriate security screenings.

President Trump is taking his travel ban to the Supreme Court.

Previous attempts at imposing a ban have been blocked by lower courts who argue it is discriminatory. If the court accepts the filing, the case could be heard at the beginning of their next term, in October. The 1st, issued on 27 January and blocked shortly thereafter.