The Trump administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately reinstate its temporary ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries, arguing that it would make the United States safer.
The U.S. Justice Department filed emergency applications before the high court late on June 1, arguing that an appeals court in Virginia made several mistakes in ruling against the Trump executive order.
At least five of the Supreme Court's nine justices would have to agree to grant the administration's request.
The appeals court said the travel ban was "rooted in religious animus and intended to bar Muslims from this country" and ruled against reinstating it in a 10-3 vote last week.
In deciding whether to allow the ban to go into effect, the nine justices are set to weigh whether Trump's harsh election campaign rhetoric can be used as evidence that the order was intended to discriminate against Muslims.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said the administration is "confident that President Trump's executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism."
The travel order, signed on March 6 but suspended by U.S. courts days later, would temporarily bar entry into the United States of all refugees as well as visitors from Iran, Libya, Somania, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters