Two items worth noting. First, the State Department has again begun processing for refugee admissions, despite President Trump’s Executive Order putting the program on hold and capping admissions for the current fiscal year at 50,000.
The State Department’s action is likely based on the lawsuits that have enjoined implementation of the Executive Orders, although the suspension of the refugee program was not specifically challenged. (In another suit, HIAS is arguing that the reduction in refugee admissions requires the President to notify and consult with Congress, which he has not yet done.)
Second, the Federal Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit issued a scathing opinion
affirming (nearly all parts of) a lower court’s preliminary injunction against the revised Trump Order. The court held that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in their claim that the Order was based on religious discrimination that violates First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
In reaching their conclusion, the court found that there were plausible grounds for believing that the purported national security justification for the Order was offered in bad faith–that is, that it was simply a cover for an impermissible purpose of discriminating against Muslims.
The issue will, at some point, reach the Supreme Court. Given the persuasiveness of the Fourth Circuit’s opinion, I am less certain in my initial judgment that the President will win at the Supreme Court level.