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Trump administration appeals travel ban to Supreme Court

Oct. 23, 2017: The Supreme Court said it won't hear oral arguments on the legality of President Trump's original travel ban because key provisions of his March executive order had expired.

The Trump administration on Thursday petitioned the Supreme Court to review its contentious travel ban, a move that could set up a high-stakes final verdict on a policy to restrict immigration from several Muslim-majority nations that has so far been stymied in several lower court decisions.

"We have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that President Trump's executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the Nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism," Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement released Thursday night. "The President is not required to admit people from countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism, until he determines that they can be properly vetted and do not pose a security risk to the United States."

CLICK HERE to read more from ABC News

The petition comes after the latest setback for Trump's controversial executive order to cut visas for individuals from Somalia, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit declined to lift an existing lower court ban on the administration's revised travel ban, which had originally also included Iraq.

The 4th Circuit's Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory wrote that the government's "asserted national security interest ... appears to be a post hoc, secondary justification for an executive action rooted in religious animus and intended to bar Muslims from this country."

After that court's decision, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department would lodge an appeal with the high court.

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