#1 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refuses Hawaii's request to change Trump's travel ban by algernonpj 08.07.2017 12:44


9th Circuit Court of Appeals refuses Hawaii's request to change Trump's travel ban
by Josh Siegel | Jul 7, 2017, 7:33 PM | Updated Jul 7, 2017, 8:54 PM

A U.S. appeals court refused Friday to clarify the scope of the Supreme Court's lifting of the blockade against President Trump's travel ban, citing a lack of jurisdiction.

Earlier Friday, the state of Hawaii had asked the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to expand the categories of people who can bypass the travel ban.

On Thursday, a U.S. district judge had refused to act on Hawaii's request, leaving in place the Trump administration's rules regarding what classes of people to exempt from the travel ban.

The judge in that case, Derrick Watson, also claimed he did not have the authority to act on Hawaii's request.

Watson, who originally ruled to block the travel ban, said in his decision that Hawaii should bring its challenge of the Trump administration's definition of "bona fide relationship" to the Supreme Court.

Trump's ban, implemented by a revised executive order, sought to prevent nationals from six Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — from entering the U.S. for 90 days and some refugees from all countries for 120 days.

In agreeing to hear the travel ban litigation in its October term, the Supreme Court lifted holds on the executive order required by the 4th and 9th circuit courts of appeals.

Specifically, the high court allowed the Trump administration to block these travelers unless they have a "bona fide relationship with the U.S." The Trump administration defined "bona fide relationship" to mean close family members only: parents, spouses, siblings, children, and engaged partners.

It would block entry of grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins from the six countries.

Hawaii then argued in federal court that the Trump administration's interpretation of "bona fide relationship" was too narrow, contending that "the government intended to violate the Supreme Court's instruction."

The Trump administration countered that its decision about how to implement the ban was compatible with the Immigration and Nationality Act and "hews closely to the categorical determinations articulated by Congress."

While a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit — all Clinton appointees — claimed to not have jurisdiction over Hawaii's case, it suggested the state could go back to the district court with a different challenge.

In a statement, Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin said the ruling "makes clear that Judge Watson does possess the ability to interpret and enforce the Supreme Court's order, as well as the authority to enjoin against a party's violation of the Supreme Court's order placing effective limitations on the scope of the district court's preliminary injunction."

"We appreciate the Ninth Circuit for ruling so quickly and will comply," Chin said.


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