By Adam Liptak
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would decide whether President Trump’s revised travel ban was lawful, setting the stage for a major decision on the scope of presidential power.
Mr. Trump’s revised executive order, issued in March, limited travel from six mostly Muslim countries for 90 days and suspended the nation’s refugee program for 120 days. The time was needed, the order said, to address gaps in the government’s screening and vetting procedures.
Two federal appeals courts have blocked critical parts of the order.
The administration had asked that the the lower-court ruling be stayed while the case moves forward. The court granted part of that request in its unsigned opinion.
“We grant the government’s applications to stay the injunctions, to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of” Mr. Trump’s executive order “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., ruled last month that the limits on travel from the six countries violated the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion. Relying on Mr. Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign, where he called for a “Muslim ban,” the court said the order “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, recently blocked both the limits on travel and the suspension of the refugee program. It ruled on statutory rather than constitutional grounds, saying Mr. Trump had exceeded the authority granted him by Congress.
The court agreed to review both cases and said it would hear arguments in October, noting that the government had not asked it to act faster.