A federal judge in Washington who had been a thorn in the side of the Trump administration reversed course Tuesday and ruled she could not force the State Department to grant visa lottery approvals to would-be immigrants from Iran and Yemen.
The complicated case doesn’t directly challenge President Trump’s travel ban, but it does deliver a rare lower-court legal victory on one aspect of the ban, which has restricted visits and immigration from a number of majority-Muslim nations.
Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that the government had managed to run out the clock on would-be immigrants from Yemen and Iran, and there is no longer anything she can do to preserve their pathway to immigration.
“There is no longer any meaningful relief this court can provide. Therefore, it must dismiss this case as moot,” she wrote.