In what may come as a surprise to many, the third travel ban issued via executive order has been temporarily cleared by SCOTUS in a pair of unexpected Monday morning orders. And, if your head is spinning at this point, wondering how in the world that happened, don't worry, you weren't meant to see this one coming.
In an emergency appeal filed by the DOJ days before Thanksgiving, it asked the High Court to stay the preliminary injunctions issued by the district courts in Hawaii and Maryland. While opponents of the ban did their best to fight it, SCOTUS ruled that the preliminary injunctions should be lifted pending the resolution of the Fourth and Ninth Circuit appeals. Also, as you might have expected, Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor dissented and would have denied the requested stay.
What Does This Mean?
In short, this means that the executive order travel ban, colloquially referred to as travel ban 3.0, can go into full effect until the matter has finished being litigated and appealed through the High Court. (And here's the nearly identical text of the order in the other travel ban case).
However, it should be noted that travel ban 3.0 really isn't much of a travel ban. After the first two were dismantled, the third one was artfully crafted to withstand legal challenges. But, with that artful crafting, much of the power to actually ban Muslim immigrants was lost. People and businesses from the countries listed in the ban can still obtain visas to come to the United States as tourists, students, and on business (though the process may not be as simple nor certain as it once was -- though it's never been either).
In these orders, SCOTUS commented that the appeals have been expedited and, as such, the Court seemed to express hope that the matter would work its way through both appellate courts expeditiously.