Travel Ban, Church-State Case Await Action By Supreme Court

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Travel Ban, Church-State Case Await Action By Supreme Court

There had been speculation that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy could reveal his retirement from the court Monday.

Either way, the other big news for the court this week may be its decision on the President's controversial temporary travel ban, targeting a half-dozen mostly Muslim countries.

"He regularly demonstrated a deep and adroit commitment to interpreting the Constitution and laws as they are written", Leo said.

Kennedy's non-announcement is important because it means Trump will not yet get to appoint another justice.

Kennedy has repeatedly declined to respond to media requests seeking comment on his plans. Kennedy did not address the retirement rumors when he and his clerks gathered over the weekend for a reunion, according to three clerks who were there.

Kennedy had given no public sign that he would step down this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick. But Gorsuch replaced a conservative in a similar mold, Justice Antonin Scalia, who died past year.

Kennedy is largely seen as the swing vote on a panel that includes four conservatives and four progressives.

At issue is a 2016 court ruling that determined that Microsoft didn't have to hand over customer data that was stored on computers in another country.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week" program on Sunday, Kellyanne Conway, a Trump adviser, declined to say if there has been any communication between the White House and Kennedy. Immigrants' advocates contend that many of these immigrants have a right to be free on bail until their case is heard.

The justices will hear full arguments in October in the case that has stirred heated emotions across the nation and pointed rebukes from lower courts saying the administration is targeting Muslims.

Trinity Lutheran could be headed for a lopsided win, with two liberal justices joining their conservative colleagues in signaling support during the April oral argument. The court is now split, with Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito leaning Republican and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer siding with Democrats.

The case that brought the legislative debate about originated when the federal government wanted information about a potential drug trafficking case. The case takes on additional significance with Trump ratcheting up immigration enforcement, placing more people in detention awaiting deportation. The appellate court also held that in order to hold these detainees, the government must show that the immigrants would pose a danger or become a flight risk if set free. Another involves whether the family of a Mexican teenager shot dead while standing on Mexican soil by a US Border Patrol agent in Texas can sue for civil rights violations. The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration's travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground. The administration wants the ban to go into effect while the litigation continues. Until then, the court said Monday, Trump's ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States". Thomas said the government's interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country.

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