Travel-ban appeal goes to high court
President Donald Trump’s administration has taken the dispute over his temporary travel ban to the Supreme Court again, asking justices to let the government bar entry into the U.S. for people who cite relatives such as grandparents and cousins as “bona fide relationships” in the country.
The Justice Department furthermore asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday to put a hold on a judge’s ruling last week that expands the list of family relationships that refugees and visitors from six Muslim-majority countries can use to get into the country.
The Supreme Court told the side challenging the travel ban to file a response to that request by Tuesday.
The administration filed papers late Friday asking justices to clarify a June 26 decision that said the government had to admit at least some close relatives, including spouses and parents-in-law.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii ordered the government to allow in refugees formally working with a resettlement agency in the United States. His order also said the government’s exemptions from the ban were too narrow.
In announcing the administration would immediately take the matter to the Supreme Court, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Friday, “Once again, we are faced with a situation in which a single federal district court has undertaken by a nationwide injunction to micromanage decisions of the co-equal executive branch related to our national security.”
The filing Friday in the appeal said the judge’s interpretation of the Supreme Court’s ruling “empties the court’s decision of meaning, as it encompasses not just ‘close’ family members, but virtually all family members.”
The Justice Department is seeking the stay with the appeals court while the Supreme Court considers the appeal of Watson’s ruling. The two filings overlap, and the appeals court could defer action until it sees what the Supreme Court does.