The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to revive its plan to ban travelers from six largely Muslim countries from entering the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports. “The Constitution and acts of Congress confer on the president broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens outside the United States when he deems it in the nation’s interest,” the Justice Department said. The administration said the plan to put a 90-day halt on the entry of individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen is needed to “prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit last week blocked the plan. The majority in a 10-3 decision said that while couched in “vague words of national security,” the ban “in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”
A federal district judge in Hawaii also blocked the ban, and last month a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard the administration’s appeal. An earlier, more sweeping version of the ban was blocked by several federal courts. The administration hoped the revised plan issued in March would pass muster by omitting some of the more aggressive elements of the original executive order, such as potentially applying it to aliens with legal U.S. residency. While the executive order is written in dry legalese, lower courts have said it must be examined in the context of the provocative statements Trump made during his presidential campaign regarding Muslims, whose entry to the U.S. he once pledged would face a “total and complete shutdown.” Trump needs the votes of five justices to win immediate restoration of his executive order.