(Reuters) Court hearings in Hawaii and Maryland on Wednesday could decide the immediate fate of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, which is set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) on Thursday.
The courts have been asked in lawsuits challenging the ban to issue restraining orders that would prevent it from taking effect pending resolution of the litigation.
The new order, which temporarily bars the entry of most refugees as well as travellers from six Muslim-majority countries, was signed by the president on March 6, with a 10-day lag before it took effect.
It replaced an earlier, broader order that was signed amid much fanfare a week after Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The first order temporarily banned travelers from seven countries in addition to most refugees and took effect immediately, causing chaos and protests at airports across the country and around the globe.
States and civil rights groups filed more than two dozen lawsuits against the first order, arguing it discriminated against Muslims and violated the U.S. Constitution.
In response to a lawsuit by Washington state, a federal judge in Seattle last month issued a nationwide halt to the first order. That decision was upheld by a U.S. appeals court.
The Trump administration made changes in an attempt to address the judges’ concerns. But the states and civil rights groups went back to court arguing the new ban did not solve the problems and should be stopped.