DONALD Trump’s administration has asked the Supreme Court to restore the so-called Muslim travel ban.
The administration filed two emergency applications with the nine high court justices seeking to block two separate lower court rulings.
Trump’s revised, March 6 order — currently blocked by courts — aimed to temporarily suspend entry of nationals from six Muslim-majority nations, including Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
The order was Trump’s second effort to impose travel restrictions into the US. The first, issued on January 27, led to chaos and protests at airports before being blocked by courts.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement: “We have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that President Trump’s executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism.”
President Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch earlier this year meaning the court has a five to four conservative majority.
At least five votes are needed on the nine justice court in order to grant a stay.
In May the US Appeals Court refused to reinstate the temporary travel ban.
The decision, written by Chief Judge Roger Gregory, condemned Mr Trump’s executive order in forceful terms, saying it uses “vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination”.
In a 10 to three ruling, a majority of judges on the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said that the challengers to the ban, including refugee groups and individuals, were likely to succeed on their claim the order violates the US Constitution’s bar on favouring one religion over another.
Citing statements made by Mr Trump during his presidential election campaign calling for a “Muslim ban”, Judge Gregory wrote that a reasonable observer would likely conclude that the order’s “primary purpose is to exclude persons from the US on the basis of their religious beliefs”.
The Trump administration has argued that the temporary travel ban is a national security measure aimed at preventing Islamist militant attacks.