Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Supreme Court temporarily allows part of Trump Muslim travel ban

Supreme Court temporarily allows part of Trump Muslim travel ban

Without comment, the court blocked a federal appeals court ruling from last week that would have exempted refugees who have a contractual commitment from resettlement organizations from the travel ban while the justices consider its legality.

"The absence of a formal connection between a resettlement agency and a refugee subject to an assurance stands in stark contrast to the sort of relationships this court identified as sufficient in its June 26 stay ruling",

"As for entities", the court said, "the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the goal of evading" the executive order. The administration barred other relatives, including grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins.

The justices are due to hear arguments over the legality and constitutionality of Trump's executive order on October 10, in the second week of the court's new term.

On Tuesday, the full court said it had granted the administration's appeal.

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.

Shortly after the Supreme Court's stay decision, the administration issued guidance interpreting "close familial relationship" to include only parents, children, siblings, spouses, and fiancées and refusing to allow entry to refugees with formal assurances from a refugee resettlement agency. About 24,000 refugees would have reportedly fallen into that description. But they disagreed with the lower court which also ruled in favor refugees "with formal assurances" from a USA resettlement agency.

"Refugees with formal assurances are the category of foreign nationals least likely to implicate the national security rationales the government has pointed to in the past", Hawaii argued.

Time is beginning to become a factor in the broader fight over Trump's travel ban.

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.

Some deadlines for reports have also seemingly passed.

He said Homeland Security officials were "evaluating the information received and will provide a report to the president in the coming weeks".

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