The Supreme Court Tuesday night dismissed one of the challenges to a now-expired version of President Trump's travel ban, and the legal battle over his latest efforts to ban some immigrants will need to start anew.
The court had originally planned to hear two cases challenging the order on October 10, but cancelled arguments after Trump issued new, targeted restrictions on travel from eight countries - Chad, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
But the Supreme Court is likely to ditch that case, which began in Hawaii, as well.
The court has not yet announced whether it plans to hear the other challenge to the order brought by the state of Hawaii regarding Trump's ban stopping the refugee resettlement program in the USA for 120 days. International Refugee Assistance Project back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit with instructions to dismiss the case as moot - that is, no longer a live controversy. Though the Court does not explain why it treats these two cases differently, it likely stems from one crucial difference between them.
Hawaii, which brought the 9th Circuit challenge, warned the justices that elements of the earlier ban still could be revived, since Trump has said he wants a "much tougher version".
At the same time, lower courts also tried to place strict additional limits on the refugee ban.More news: Why Frankie Muniz doesn't remember his rise to fame
The pending appeal by the government challenged a US 4 Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.
Both of the challenges were filed after the president's March 6 order imposed a 90-day freeze on the entry into the United States by travelers from six Muslim-majority countries: Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iran.
The court made clear it was not taking a position on the merits of the case.
The Hawaii case also challenged a provision of the order that suspended the admission of refugees into the United States for 120 days.
In some ways it is more expansive than the second executive order it replaced - remaining in effect indefinitely and imposing restrictions on eight, rather than six, countries. It requested the lower court rulings to be deleted. But unlike the previous ban, the restrictions vary from place to place, and countries that increase their cooperation and information-sharing with the United States might be able to find their way off the list.