People protest President Trump's second travel ban outside of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Seattle on May 15, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/David Ryder

Travel ban revisions may add countries, alter court challenge

WASHINGTON (USA Today) — The long and winding road to the Supreme Court for President Trump's travel ban may require yet another detour as the White House prepares to revise or replace it.

The administration is planning to add additional countries to a list of nations whose citizens’ travel to the United States would be banned or restricted, an official familiar with the matter said Friday (Sept. 22).

RELATED: Interfaith coalition says ‘no principled basis’ for Trump’s travel ban

The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the added nations would likely be subject to a range of restrictions, but not an all-out ban, based on their inability to adequately screen passengers traveling to the U.S.

Changes to the system have been under consideration for weeks in preparation for the looming expiration of a 90-day travel ban for countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The latest development was first reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal.

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The legal case, long sought by Trump and immigration officials after a series of defeats in federal courts from Maryland to Hawaii, is scheduled to be heard Oct. 10. But the ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries expires Sunday, and the White House is expected to announce what happens next.

Trump indicated the direction the administration may be headed in a characteristic tweet following an explosion on an underground train in London last week.

“The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific,” he said.

Any change in the terms of the ban — already Trump's second version, after the first was tossed out by the courts — presumably would require the justices to adjust the schedule. They could require more briefing from both sides, send the case back to lower courts or even declare it moot.

That would be a letdown for both sides after eight months of controversy that began with chaos at U.S. airports and resulted in two executive orders, a series of lower court decisions blocking implementation and several Supreme Court interventions. At last count, more than 70 groups have weighed in before the court, mostly backing the ban's challengers.

“This may turn out to be a big dud,” said Martin Lederman, a Georgetown University Law Center professor who has predicted for months that the case would reach a dead end. “The most likely resolution here is no resolution at all.”

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Trump originally targeted travelers from seven countries for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days in order to give officials time to review visa and vetting procedures. Revisions later reduced the number of countries to six and allowed for exceptions for legal permanent residents and people who already had visas. The refugee ban extends into late October.

The travel ban finally went into effect June 26 after the Supreme Court allowed a scaled-down version. The justices ruled that travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen could bypass the ban if they could prove they had a "bona fide" relationship with a U.S. person or organization.

Some conservatives say the administration should be content to sideline the legal case, since the latest Supreme Court decisions let the bans on travelers and refugees go into effect with slight revisions.

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Challengers representing travelers who have faced a ban on entry to the U.S. want the case to proceed, at least for now, said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's immigration rights project, who has argued the case in lower courts.

If the administration expands the list of affected countries and targets only certain travelers, immigration groups that have protested the travel restrictions from day one likely will challenge those initiatives. So one way or another, a legal challenge would loom that's likely to make its way back to the nation's highest court.

“There’s almost a certainty that the case is going to come back to the court sooner or later,” said Kannon Shanmugam, an appellate lawyer and frequent Supreme Court litigator.


  1. None of this would have ever happened if Trump had bothered to discuss the matter with White House legal counsel and people from the State Department and DHS. Then a travel ban could have been crafted which did not appear to be overtly discriminatory, would have clear set parameters and could have been justified as a rational act by someone with knowledge of the situation.

    But instead he let the cat out of the bag by letting white supremacist Steve Bannon dictate the language and implementation of the first travel ban. Making it so blatantly discriminatory, improper and deliberately harmful as to remove any conceivable notion this was a rational and well conceived act.

    We have a president who revels in his ignorance and incompetence at his position. One who made a blatantly bigoted and discriminatory campaign promise he could not possibly hope to deliver on. One he has been trying to walk back from with little success. However personal ego and the vagaries of trying to shore up a political base of cretins and bigots, prevent any such capitulation to reality.

    10 months into the presidency and nobody had a clue as to what improvements needed to be allegedly made for vetting refugees and immigrants. Obviously because the alleged need for such improvements were fictitious from the start.

    At this point the best thing Trump can do is to act maturely for once and walk away from the issue. He isn’t going to get the Muslim ban he and his support base really want.

  2. The travel ban is a political issue and out of place on a religious forum. This article is nothing more than a petty little diatribe against President Trump which merely repeats the same old simplistic pablum that we have become accustom to. This topic is boring and easily dismissed.

  3. Since it always was and is still intended to be a ban based on religious faith it is more than appropriate in a religious forum.

  4. You are absolutely correct. Leftists cannot evaluate complicated arguments to see beyond their claim that this is a religious ban. There are many Muslim nations where the ban is not in place. As I have written before, the ban is based off hard empirical evidence supported by operative intelligence cleaned from DoD and DIA as well as other agencies (yes State and DHS oppose but these two agencies are so full of left leaning Obama types that their positions are usually considered somewhat laughable in the National Security pantheon) that certain geographical areas have a higher track record for radicalizing people. If there is a correlation between a particular faith practice and the particular region that may be something for their governments to look into, but to be honest the ban doesn’t need any descriptor of religious faith to make its argument. The empirical evidence of increased propensity toward radicalized and dangerous behavior is entire sufficient.

    So your observation is astute. The left wants to make the defining issue about religion. The sad reality about the opposition to national security efforts is that it places the lives of real people at risk. The responsibility of our government is to safeguard American citizens first from those who want to kill them.

  5. 1. The ban is not a Muslim ban.
    2. It may wind up at the Supreme Court. If so I have full confidence that the empirical evidence that will be presented as to the nature of the threat will be sufficient to render your prophetical utterance without merit.

  6. Actually in June John Kelly asserted that the court challenges had be a blessing because “Our ability now to do what we should have been able to do from Day 1, and that is to look at the conditions in every country on the planet, so to speak, and decide which ones is the procedure by which they come to the United States, either as tourists or students as refugees, which ones are where we want to be in terms of determining, A, who they are,
    and B, why they’re coming to our country. ”

    So will wait and see what the new countries are before seeing how the ban fits this assessment of the ability of the US to screen outsiders.

  7. 1. Not anymore, but it was and is still intended to be one in a limited sense. In its initial rollout it was clearly one

    2. Trump never relied on any form of expertise or empirical evidence when the ban was planned. The legal arguments used in defense of it aren’t either. They are simply going for an “executive deference on the subject matter” defense. Meaning they are claiming the judiciary must, as a matter of procedure, simply give the president unfettered power on the subject matter without criticism.

  8. So much hard evidence that there is none presented in support of the ban, unlike every other travel ban instituted by prior presidents. Even Trump’s own statements made it clear it was always intended as the illegal muslim ban he wanted from the outset, to please a bigoted political base, and just kept watering it down for acceptability under the law.

    “Those agencies are so full of left leaning Obama types” is a terrible excuse for what amounts to a complete lack of ability to support your assertion. Your word that it was based on DoD and DIA information comes from absolutely nowhere. Especially from any of the government agencies/experts who would be likely to produce the hard empirical evidence needed to justify the ban You are contradicting yourself and making phony assertions here.

    ” If there is a correlation between a particular faith practice and the particular region that may be something for their governments to look into, but to be honest the ban doesn’t need any descriptor of religious faith to make its argument. The empirical evidence of increased propensity toward radicalized and dangerous behavior is entire sufficient.”

    If you can make wild generalizations which fit in well with entirely illegal religious tests and make a hysterical appeal to those bigoted against an entire faith, then it must be taken seriously. /sarcasm YOU are trying to make the defining issue here religion, you are just not being honest or direct enough to say so. Its not like the wording of the travel ban nor any directives to those evaluating visas had anything to do with looking at “particular faith practice”. You are trying to pretend the policy is something far more coherent and rational than reality is permitting

    ” The responsibility of our government is to safeguard American citizens first from those who want to kill them.”

    Too bad that was never the intention of the Trump travel bans. Nor was anything proposed seen to be likely to have the effect of safeguarding American citizens.

  9. public Law 414 chapter 2 Section 212 clearly states that sharia and islam is illegal in the usa! The law was passed June 27, 1952 “The prohibition of entry to the US if the Alien belongs to an organization, religion or cult seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by force, violence or other unconstitutional means.” this, by its very definition, rules out islamic immigration to the united states!

    so yes it is, appropriate for a religious forum involving dangerous religious cults. and i, can’t cure stupid for those who refuse to believe it. as 9/11 and other, islamic terrorist attacks verify it is a mistake to let them in against the law.

  10. public Law 414 chapter 2 Section 212, clearly states that any religion, which is hostile to the united state is banned from entry. and anyone ignoring that law, is committing treason aiding and abetting the enemies of the usa…

    the very same people, shouting death to america and death to americans are here today against the law. and they, have already verified they are a dangerous religious cults. not only in their own countries, but world wide. and if you, do not have a brain then you will not see this is true in the world.

    9/11 by itself, is more than enough proof your all screwed up. the only thing you can improve by bringing more muslims is more and more terrorism. and how stupid americans, can be.

    christianity, and judaism, are most likely false enough to today. without importing more dangerous religions than they have become. as i am, religiously opposed to religious ignorance and stupidity.

  11. You made that up or misread something there. There is no such law. Dude, tinfoil is not headgear. It’s impossible to take someone seriously about a perceived threat when they rant like a lunatic.

  12. what! to those who, do not have the national register with all the public laws. that your, own made up personal laws conflict with.

  13. Huh?????

    Never mind. If I delve too deep into your train of thought, I will go straight off a cliff.

  14. sorry if you, have never heard of the national register, with all the public codes and laws for national safety, security, immigration, health and welfare.

    all the laws and codes, for airplanes, biological hazards, building codes, electrical codes, immigration, nuclear power, chemical safety, industrial safety, military codes of justice, medical codes, usp

  15. Great! When can we start deporting the white nationalists and their alt-right sympathizers?

  16. Spuddie is correct. The law you’re [kind of] citing says nothing specific about religion. It was actually referring to Communists. But if your belief is that all Muslims are hostile to America, then by all means please shout that from the rooftops. It’ll make overturning this ban that much easier.

  17. And the right wants to pretend that Trump never said what he obviously said, many times: all Muslims should be banned from the US until further notice. That animus, as the lower courts have pointed out several times, is relevant to the constitutionality of the ban regardless of the statute’s lack of mention of religion.

  18. unfortunately it, does not apply to natural born citizens.

    but i am suspicious, of your alt-right intentions in your alt-left way.

  19. well i do believe any group, nation, or religious group that has been shouting death to american or americans is pretty much covered under that law.

  20. Don’t worry, I have no intentions of supporting the actual deportation of any non-dangerous individuals. Even illegal immigrants or their descendants like Melania Trump and Tomi Lahren.

  21. not even going to reply to some one, who does not know the difference between dangerous and non-dangerous or legal or illegal.

  22. I know the difference. That’s why I don’t call all billion-plus members of a world religion “dangerous.”

  23. any religion, not true to ELOHEEM and/or THEIR Son is dangerous. and i am, pretty sure the christian scripture agrees with this too. in fact according to christian scripture, there are not that many actual christians today – at best very few having very little truth. and i, have no doubts about calling the religions of islam all fake. and judaism, isn’t doing much better. nor the religions, of atheism. all religions, seem to be out of the ball park.

  24. Donald Trump is a m​oron, and so is Jimmie “Shortbeard” Cooper B-S Boswell.

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