The president’s revised travel ban was released on Sunday. The revised version now includes banning travelers from North Korea, Chad and certain Venezuelan government officials. The revised ban appeared only 16 days prior to the Supreme Court’s hearing on the original, and temporary ban, that denied travel from Sudan, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and two other Muslim-majority countries. Because the earlier ban denied travel from eight Muslim-majority countries, lawyers argued that the travel ban was motivated by a campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
The original ban would have been argued before the Supreme Court but now that argument is in a precarious situation, with legal experts believing the Supreme Court justices will likely decide to start brand new litigation without ever touching the thorny issues of presidential overreach or religious bias.
Instead, the court will likely wait for the travel ordinance to be challenged by lower courts. This was the same process that led to the original ban making its way to the Supreme Court. However the revised ban might prove harder to defeat than the earlier iteration.
The current ban has extended to countries that are not majority-Muslim and this could potentially challenge the argument that the order is a reflection of delivering campaign promises that run counter to the U.S. constitution.
ACLU executive director Anthony Romero released a statement that does not veer from the organization’s original stance on the original ban. According to Romero, ““The fact that Trump has added North Korea … doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban.”
The new order was described by Acting Director of Homeland Security Elaine Duke as being “tough and tailored.” The tailored aspect references the revised policy’s adaptability. The revisions include the ban’s power to place restrictions on a country-by-country basis and will include detailed reasons for the country’s restrictions. The restrictions will be based on reports from the Department of Homeland Security that assess a nation’s cooperation with the U.S. government by providing information about citizens who are traveling to the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the International Refugee Assistance Project will still seek to end the revised ban.