The Supreme Court agreed Friday to review President Trump's travel ban - a version found by the Ninth Circuit to include the same biases that sank two prior iterations.
The Supreme Court is now preparing to hear a challenge to the ban, in a case called Trump v. Hawaii, meaning the issue may finally be decided after a year or protests, edits, and reversals in the courts. "This will be an important day for justice and the rule of law".
The request for review by the Supreme Court is unusual because an appellate court has yet to rule on U.S. District Judge William Alsup's January 9 preliminary injunction.
The original order issued last January barred people from seven majority-Muslim countries - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya - from entering the United States for 90 days.
The Associated Press is reporting that the justices plan to hear arguments in April and issue a final ruling by late June. In other words, 2018 will be another controversial one, but many folks expected no less.
Only liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have allowed the president's order to remain blocked.
"These restrictions are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our nation", the White House said following Watson's ruling last fall.
The so-called travel ban restricts travel in varying degrees from eight countries, six of them majority Muslim.
But the Supreme Court dismissed those appeals in October after the second ban expired.
In court papers, US Solicitor General Noel Francisco, arguing for the Trump administration, said the president has "broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens outside the United States when he deems it in the nation's interest". Instead, the president's third proclamation, issued in September, denies entry indefinitely to most travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea as well as some government officials from Venezuela. But both sides urged the Supreme Court to consider both the statutory and constitutional questions if it agreed to hear the case.
Since then, federal judges in Hawaii, Maryland and Washington state have issued rulings to block Trump's order, and those decisions have been repeatedly upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and the 4th Circuit Court in Richmond, Va.
In June, the Supreme Court allowed that version of the policy to take partial effect. She suggested that it was by threatening to withhold grants and "conscripting" city police to enforce federal laws.