Trump travel ban: legal setbacks and revisions

3 min

Washington (AFP)

A federal judge on Tuesday barred the White House from implementing the most recent version of President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, the latest in a long string of legal setbacks for the measure.

Here are key dates this year in the long-running legal wrangling and subsequent revisions that have marked the battle over the ban:

-- January 27: Just one week after his inauguration, Trump unveils his original executive order on immigration with no prior warning, sowing travel chaos and igniting worldwide outrage. Legal challenges are quickly filed against the ban, which denies entry to all refugees for 120 days, and travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Refugees from Syria are blocked indefinitely.

-- February 3: A federal judge in Seattle suspends the ban nationwide after two US states ask for it to be overturned on grounds of religious discrimination and that it had caused "irreparable harm." Trump mocks the decision.

-- February 9: A San Francisco federal appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump's controversial order, meaning the lower court's stay remains in place. The president denounces it as a "disgraceful decision."

-- February 16: Trump says he will announce a "new and very comprehensive" executive order on immigration the following week in a bid to work around hurdles blocking the initial decree, rulings the government opts not to appeal before the Supreme Court.

-- March 6: The president signs a scaled-back version of the travel ban, exempting Iraqis and permanent US residents.

-- March 16: A federal judge in Hawaii freezes the second version of the ban, while a US judge in Maryland issues a separate block on the core provision of travel from the Muslim world, saying it amounts to discrimination. The Trump administration vows to challenge the rulings.

-- May 25: An appeals court in Virginia upholds a lower court's decision to block the measure, dealing the president a fresh setback.

-- June 2: The Trump administration asks the Supreme Court to take on the case.

-- June 12: In a new defeat for Team Trump, an appeals court in San Francisco rules against the ban, saying the president exceeded his authority to make immigration-related national security judgments without justification.

-- June 26: The Supreme Court agrees to examine the travel ban case in full in October, and in the meantime rules that it can be immediately enforced for travellers from the targeted countries "who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

-- June 29: The partial travel ban takes effect following the Supreme Court ruling.

-- July 14: A federal judge weakens the terms of the travel ban, ruling that grandparents and some other relatives of people in the US should be exempt from the ban. The Trump administration appeals to the Supreme Court, which backs the lower court's ruling.

-- September 11: The Supreme Court stays a ruling by an appeals court that would have allowed thousands of refugees already in the pipeline to come to the United States despite the ban.

-- September 24: Trump issues a new open-ended travel ban in which North Korea, Venezuela and Chad were added to the list of affected countries while Sudan was removed. The new ban includes non-Muslim-majority countries, but rights groups say it is still "anti-Muslim."

-- October 16: A federal judge blocks the White House from implementing the latest version of the travel ban.