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Legal Matters

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court To Block Ruling Against Travel Ban

The U.S. Justice Department on July 14 asked the Supreme Court to block a lower court ruling against President Donald Trump's order temporarily barring refugees and travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries even if they have American relatives.

The U.S. district court ruling, issued in Honolulu on July 13, said people currently barred by the administration -- including those with Amerian grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins -- should be allowed into the country.

The latest court battle over the March 6 travel ban was prompted by a Supreme Court decision last month that said the ban could be applied to refugees or visa applicants from Iran, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, or Sudan unless they have "bona fide relationships" with American citizens or institutions.

The state of Hawaii had challenged administration's narrow definition of who was eligible to get visas -- originally allowing only those with American parents, sons, daughters, spouses, or other immediate famly members.

The Honolulu Court agreed with Hawaii, saying the administration misconstrued the Supreme Court ruling by barring people with American grandparents -- the "epitome" of close family members.

But the administration said the lower court "emptied the [Supreme] Court's decision of meaning," forcing the United States to admit "not just 'close' family members but virtually all family members."

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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