WASHINGTON — Having so far failed to persuade judges to allow its travel ban to take effect, the Trump administration is turning to the nation’s highest court with its slim conservative majority.

The Justice Department on Thursday formally asked the Supreme Court to let a ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees from around the world to be put in place. The high court also is being asked to uphold the constitutionality of the Trump travel policy, which lower courts have blocked because it shows anti-Muslim prejudice.

The administration is banking on persuading at least five justices, a majority of the nine-member court, that they should defer to the president’s considerable authority over immigration and his responsibility for keeping the nation safe.

Trump determined that a 90-day pause on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen is needed to “safeguard national security,” acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote in the Justice Department’s filings.

“The courts below openly second-guessed the president’s finding that those conditions and risks provided the basis for … (the) temporary pause,” Wall wrote. The administration also wants to halt the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.

Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said the justices shouldn’t disturb court rulings that are keeping the travel ban on hold.

The administration’s filings reflect many of the same arguments that its lawyers have made in the lower courts, including their view that statements President Trump made as a candidate – before he took the presidential oath – should not be considered.