The refugee ban itself does not expire until October 24. That 120-day period expires later this month, suggesting that at least, for now, it remains a live controversy.
The Supreme Court apparently believes that allowing one version of the ban to expire and replacing it with a different version of the ban is enough to moot the case.
The Supreme Court did not act in a second pending case filed by the state of Hawaii that challenges restrictions on travel from the six countries as well as restrictions on refugees-which are still in place. It declares the International Refugee Assistance Project case moot - effectively wiping any past decisions in that case from the books - while leaving the Hawaii case on the Court's docket.
Though many lower federal courts in liberal circuits ruled against the executive order, the Trump administration was set for victory in June, when the Supreme Court lifted an injunction against the enforcement of the so-called "travel ban", leaving the case to be argued in the fall. Though the Court does not explain why it treats these two cases differently, it likely stems from one crucial difference between them.
The high court's new order vacated a caustic ruling that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued in May in which the court's chief judge declared that Trump's ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination". Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only justice to note her disagreement with this outcome; she would have dismissed the case as improvidently granted.
The proclamation blocks people from Chad, Libya and Yemen from coming to the United States as immigrants or on business or tourist visas, and it blocks people from Somalia from coming as immigrants.
The ban's challengers also argued that the case against the last version should go forward because numerous same travelers in the initial band are being targeted by the new ban, which has an indefinite time frame. It asked the lower court rulings be erased. There are already lawsuits in both circuits against the new executive order, but the fight is largely over, and Trump has won. Thus, it appears that the Court views the refugee case as still live.