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Supreme Court tosses one of two travel ban challenges

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The Supreme Court announced Tuesday it had dismissed as moot a case from Maryland involving the fight over President Trump's travel ban. 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. On September 24, as the 90-day period was due to expire, however, Trump issued a new proclamation that restricted travel to the United States by nationals from five of the six countries on his March 6 list (Somalia, Syria, Libya, Iran and Yemen) and added three more countries: North Korea, Venezuela and Chad.

The justices had combined the two cases and set them for argument that was to have taken place Tuesday.

That case could yet be dismissed once the refugee ban expires on October 24, meaning the court remains unlikely to issue a final ruling on whether the ban was lawful.

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Trump had promised as a candidate "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States". The justices will most likely only turn to that case after October 24, when the refugee provision of the March executive order also expires. New challenges already have been filed against the new travel policy and could return to the court. Another case that is pending from the Ninth Circuit is also likely to be vacated.

In a one-page order, the court acted in one of two cases pending before the nine justices over Trump's travel ban, a case from Maryland brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued to stop the ban contained in a March executive order.

The justices took no action on a second pending case arising from the 9th Circuit, perhaps because it focuses on refugees, and the time limit on that part of the order does not expire until late October.

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