President Trump has bemoaned court decisions blocking two versions of his ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries and all refugee resettlement, saying he wants to take his case to the Supreme Court. Soon, he might get the chance, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Department of Justice’s appeal on Thursday of a Hawaii court order halting the latest iteration of the ban means the federal government is now fighting for it in U.S. appeals courts in San Francisco and Richmond, Va. If the courts issue rulings that conflict, there is a high chance that the Supreme Court would take up the case.
Time could be on Trump’s side. The president’s high court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is expected to be confirmed this month, tipping the ideologically divided court to lean more conservative. “Appealing to the Supreme Court was risky before,” said Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston. “But now it makes more sense.” Even if the appeals courts rule similarly on the ban, Blackman said, the Supreme Court could still choose to review it if a request is made and at least four of its justices agree. The Department of Justice appealed a Maryland district judge’s order against the travel ban to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond. The rulings in Hawaii and Maryland said Trump’s executive order discriminated against Muslims and cited his campaign promises to suspend Muslim travel to the U.S. as evidence of his order’s anti-Muslim bias.