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US Supreme Court cancels travel ban oral arguments

Washington, Sep 26 (IANS) The US Supreme Court has said that it would not hear oral arguments on President Donald Trump’s travel ban as scheduled for October 10, the media reported.

According to Monday’s order, the court wants to hear from both sides if the issue is moot after Trump issued a proclamation on Sunday restricting the entry for the citizens of eight countries — Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela, North Korea — replacing the previous ban on six Muslim-majority countries, citing threats to national security, reports CNN.

However, the order was not a a ruling about the constitutionality or a final decision from the court: the one-page unsigned announcement simply removed the case from the oral argument schedule for the moment.

Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco filed a letter with the Supreme Court “respectfully suggesting” that the justices request supplemental briefs from both sides by October 5 because of the new restrictions the President has outlined.

In the letter, Francisco emphasised the part that revised travel ban which was issued in March had expired, and the administration was putting in place new restrictions after a worldwide review.

The court’s order was in response to Francisco’s request.

In Sunday night’s proclamation, Trump wrote that he was acting “by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America”, reports CNN.

The restrictions will go into effect by October 18.

Immigrant rights groups blasted the new restrictions and suggested that the President had added non-Muslim majority countries to the list only to shore up his legal argument that the travel ban was necessary for national security and it was not motivated by comments he made on the campaign trail suggesting the need for a “Muslim Ban”.

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