- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2017

The Supreme Court has canceled Oct. 10 arguments in two cases challenging the legality of President Trump’s travel ban after the administration issued a new “extreme vetting” policy Sunday.

The court on Monday directed the parties involved to file briefs outlining whether they think the new policy renders their challenges moot. Those briefs are due Oct. 5.

The court had been due to hear two cases challenging the legality of the temporary 90-day ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries and 120-day ban on all refugees.

Solicitor-General Noel Francisco had recommended the need for additional briefs in light of the updated policy. Mr. Francisco said the update was part of the original travel ban policy, which called for a full review of U.S. screening procedures for all immigrants and temporary visitors.

The new Trump administration policy announced Sunday expands the number of countries effected by the travel ban and has no expiration date.

The eight countries included under the new policy include five that were named in the original travel ban — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — and three new countries, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.

Sudan was removed from the list, and while Iraq will is not on the new list, its citizens will face enhanced screening.

The Trump administration said the latest policy is on firm legal footing since it follows a long review that involves asking nearly 200 countries to detail their own information-sharing and identity processes and to promise cooperation when it comes to verifying the identities of their citizens seeking to enter the U.S.

The policy will re-expand the ban to apply to those with family or other connections to the U.S., setting up what is likely to be a new round of litigation in the courts.

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