A U.S. Supreme Court justice who was in favor of completely reinstating President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries is scheduled to welcome new U.S. citizens Monday at a federal judicial conference.
The Trump administration on Friday sent a request to the Supreme Court indicating that a Hawaii judge's ruling limiting the scope of the temporary travel ban on refugees requires the "immediate intervention" of the justices, according to documents obtained by Fox News.
Last month the Supreme Court partially revived the March 6 ban that had been blocked by lower courts.
In allowing the order to take effect, the Supreme Court said that the restrictions could not be applied to people with "a credible claim of a bona fide relationship" with a person or entity in the United States.
The administration had narrowly interpreted that language, saying the ban would apply to grandparents and other family members, prompting the state of Hawaii to ask Hawaii-based U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson to expand the definition of who could be admitted.
The latest change to Trump's Muslim ban - which is amid a complicated court battle winding its way up to the Supreme Court - comes in a memo sent to US diplomats overseas dated last Friday.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a Motion to Clarify and Application for Stay after Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin judge-shopped seeking a broader definition pertaining to those permitted to enter the U.S.
"(W) e will now reluctantly return directly to the Supreme Court to again vindicate the rule of law and the Executive Branch's duty to protect the nation", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement, Efe reported.
The decision will permit "grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States" to qualify as close family and should be granted entry into the country as exempts from the travel ban, according to CNN. It also defined a "bona fide relationship" as having a parent, spouse, fiancé, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or sibling already in the U.S.
In his ruling, Watson touted the superiority of his own definition above that of the Trump administration, asserting: "The Government's definition represents the antithesis of common sense". That ruling substituted Watson's own interpretation of the Supreme Court's June 26 ruling that allowed the travel ban to go into effect for the Trump administration's interpretation of it.
"Family members have been separated and real people have suffered enough", Chin said.
Judges appointed by Democrats have been nearly universally skeptical of Mr. Trump's actions, digging behind them to try to spot Mr. Trump's motives, while Republican appointees have been willing to take his executive orders on their face, finding they are similar to actions past presidents have taken.