White House Won’t Take Travel Ban Case to the Supreme Court After All

 

President Donald Trump will not appeal a federal appeals court ruling sustaining a temporary restraining order on his executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven countries.

A White House official said Friday that the Trump administration will not appeal the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Thursday ruling to overturn the block on the enforcement of the order to the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, the official said, the Department of Justice will argue the merits of upholding the ban before a federal district court in Washington—the same court that issued the restraining order last week.

Pending the confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, the high court is divided in a 4-4 split between conservative- and liberal-leaning justices, putting the likelihood of success at the Supreme Court in doubt. Taking the case back to the lower court to argue the legality of the ban provides more time for Gorsuch’s nomination, as well as an opportunity for the Trump Administration to pursue alternative avenues.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One Friday en route to Florida with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said he is considering signing a “brand new order” on immigration, one that could skirt some of the legal potholes that have bedeviled the first.

“The unfortunate part is that it takes time statutorily, but we will win that battle. We also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order,” he said. He added he’d likely wait until Monday or Tuesday to announce his next steps.

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