Trump administration appeals to Supreme Court on refugee ban

Cheryl Sanders
September 13, 2017

In July, the justices sided with a lower court ruling that grandparents and cousins of a person in the US fit the definition of a close relationship. Roughly 24,000 refugees with formal assurances were left stranded overseas. The 9th Circuit's ruling "is stayed with respect to refugees covered by a formal assurance, pending further order of this court".

On Monday, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to stay the part of an order from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that would have allowed would-be refugees with assurances to travel to the US during the refugee ban, which is slated to end October 27 under the terms of the executive order. The Court ruled that those nationals with a "close familial relationship" or a "formal, documented" relationship with an American entity formed "in the ordinary course" could continue to enter the country.

This action by the Justice Department is the latest addition to the ongoing legal battle over Trump's March 6 travel ban executive order-replacing the January 27 order-barring entry to travelers from the Muslim-majority nations of Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

The issue concerning the scope of the travel ban has been ricocheting through the courts since last spring when the Supreme Court allowed Trump's ban to go into effect except for those with a "bona fide" relationship to the United States.

When the administration's narrow definition of family connections was challenged in court, a federal judge in Hawaii ruled in July that the definition of a bona fide connection had to include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and siblngs-in-law. The Ninth Circuit also rejected the government's argument that allowing 24,000 refugees with formal assurances to enter would defeat the goal of the Supreme Court's stay decision, noting that there were another 175,000 refugees now in processing who would still be banned from entry.

Within hours, Justice Kennedy granted the request, staying the Ninth Circuit's decision from going into effect and ordering Hawaii to file a response by noon on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the full court said it had granted the administration's appeal. The order also placed a 120-day ban on refugees from all countries around the world.

Other reports by iNewsToday