Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Supreme Court Will Hear Travel Ban Case

Chief Justice John Roberts announced on Monday that the cases would be re-argued.

Both cases began in the Obama administration, and the Trump administration has maintained the same position.

Democratic Rep. Mazie Hirono decried what she saw as judicial "extremism" from three conservative Supreme Court justices and called them three of the "horsemen of the apocalypse".

Rumors over whether 80-year-old Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is planning to retire reached a fever pitch just as the court issued its ruling Monday to partially reinstate President Trump's travel ban. Kennedy could still announce his retirement at any time, though the last day of the term was seen as an opportune moment.

While the limited travel ban implementation was approved by unanimous accord, the three conservative justices Hirono named went further and said that a full travel ban should have been allowed until the case is taken up for consideration in October.

But Kennedy turns 81 next month and has been on the court for almost 30 years.

The gossip mill went into overdrive after his former law clerks moved up a planned reunion to last weekend - as judges traditionally announce retirement plans to their clerks before the public - but after teasing the assembled alum with a big announcement, it wasn't what they expected. The decision to hold an early reunion helped spark talk he might be leaving the court.

The four cases showed Gorsuch to be "an unabashed defender of constitutionalism", said Curt Levey, president of the conservative Committee for Justice.

The ban would apply to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement the Friday before the Fourth of July after she'd left Washington.

Kennedy has given no public sign that he would step down this year, but he turns 81 next month and has been on the court for almost 30 years.

But the departure of Kennedy - who has frequently joined court's majority in cases upholding religious freedom claims but who also authored the opinion striking down laws barring same-sex marriage - could dramatically impact the outcome. The other six justices allowed enforcement of a ban against entrants with no connections to people or institutions in the United States while the case is pending.

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