Trump administration wants Supreme Court to review travel ban

Lower courts have struck down two versions of the president's travel bans.

After news of the petition broke, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson tweeted, "Federal judges at all levels repeatedly and consitently agree with my argument that President Trump's illegal and unconstituional travel ban cannot go into effect. I am confident the Supreme Court will agree."

In order to hear the case, the Supreme Court would now have to grant certioari -- or accept the case -- by having four of its nine justices to vote in the affirmative.

The 4th Circuit's decision applied to the Trump administration's revised version of an initial ban, which had originally included Iraq and also banned American green card holders from the listed countries from returning to the U.S. The first order was shot down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, after which the Trump administration issued a slightly narrower order.

The 4th Circuit heard the case on that revised executive order en banc, with all of the circuit's judges, a rare step reserved for cases determined to be of exceptional importance. Typically, a case before the court of appeals is heard by three judges and can be reheard by those judges or en banc after the initial decision is handed down.

In addition to asking the Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit's decision, the administration is requesting a stay of that court's decision in the meantime -- which would require five affirmative votes in the Supreme Court. Thursday's petition also asks for a separate stay in a Hawaii district court opinion that rejected a separate aspect of Trump's order. That case is currently awaiting an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.