Today, Feb. 9, 2017, the 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Supreme Court unanimously refused to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban. The judges on the panel were Judge Michelle T. Friedland, Judge William C. Canby Jr., and Judge Richard R. Clifton. The ruling was determined by an appeals court and focused primarily on the question of whether it should be blocked while courts review its lawfulness. Although this ruling is the freshest opposition to the president, other judges across the nation have refused to defend Trump’s executive order, such as Judge James L. Robart blocking key parts of Trump’s action last week. Although other judges have made crucial decisions regarding the travel ban, Trump’s plan truly lies in the hands of the Supreme Court.
Because of the fervent opposition and nationwide dispute, the travel ban is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court The Court currently comprises of 8 judges with the absence of one following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last year. The current judges are Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. If the case goes to the Supreme Court, it could possibly remain deadlocked at 4-4, which would leave the appeals court’s ruling intact. It is widely accepted that the Court’s conservative wing is formed by justices Thomas, Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts, while Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan compose the left wing. Justice Kennedy normally votes center-right. The case does not end here, however, as Trump’s nominee Neil M. Gorsuch is still a factor. It is unlikely that Gorsuch will be able to vote on the case, but if he is able the decision may be resolved in Trump’s favor due to his conservatism.
Following the ruling of the 9th-Circuit Supreme Court, Trump’s travel remains blocked and in political purgatory. It is likely that the case will be determined by the United States Supreme Court, but could result in a tie, leaving the temporary ban in place. The nation will therefore have to wait for the Supreme Court ruling for this dispute to reach its final outcome. The fight is long, but it is not over for America.