The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to review a ruling from a federal appeals court against the administration’s policy limiting H-1B visas, which are intended for skilled foreign workers.
The justices will review a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in August struck down the administration’s temporary ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. The justices did not specify why they agreed to the cases, which do not involve any direct legal conflicts with other pending Supreme Court decisions.
Officials at the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The visa case involves a non-binding ruling, and the travel ban case is not expected to go to the justices this term.
The court heard arguments in the visa case in April, but Justice Anthony M. Kennedy did not participate in the case because he was recused. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. each recused from the court’s deciding vote.
The Trump administration has argued that its policy that limits the number of H-1B visas issued annually and suspends certain of them for companies that rely heavily on immigrants is necessary to ensure that such visas are given to the most skilled applicants and ensure they are properly authorized to work in the United States.
A federal judge in San Francisco, which oversees administrative operations of the H-1B program, ruled that the administration had overstepped its authority and overstepped the limits Congress had set on the program.
Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Labor, which oversees the visa program, argued that Congress intended the program to be “flexible” so that foreign labor could fill temporary and seasonal jobs. They also noted that the Trump administration was considering easing the restrictions by including new benefits and risks for employers seeking to exploit the visas.