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Supreme Court Will Look at Limited Muslim Ban Again

When the Supreme Court issued its order last month allowing a very limited section of President Trump's Muslim Travel Ban to go into effect, the Court must have assumed that it was dealing with a normal presidential administration. The Court refused to allow the Ban to to be applied to immigrants or to those already issued visas from the six Muslim-majority countries named in Trump's Second Executive Order. The only large group of people to be impacted by the limited Ban would be those coming for short visits.The Court also provided an exception to the Ban for those visitors who have a "bona fide" relationship to a "United States person or entity." The Supreme Court did not offer a definition what a "bona fide relationship" is, but it offered a couple of examples such as spouses and in-laws.
Any other presidential administration would have drawn the conclusion that the Supreme Court wanted to allow in people beyond those in the few examples. Not the Trump folks. They decided that a U.S. Citizen who is a grandmother does not have a "bona fide relationship" with her grandchild! They drew the line as narrowly as they thought they could.
Last Thursday, the Federal District Court in Hawaii that issued the original injunction issued a new order that says that the Trump policy completely misreads what the Supreme Court ordered. 
Dinstrict Court Judge Derrick Watson said in his decision that subjecting grandparents to the travel ban made no sense. Why, he asked, would a father-in-law be a close relative, but a grandmother would not? Judge Watson wrote:
"the Government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense. Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be."
The judge issued a nationwide injunction against the Muslim Ban applying to “grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins." 
On Friday, the lawyers defending the Travel Ban asked the Supreme Court to overturn Judge Watson's order. The Court has asked the State of Hawaii, the plaintiff in the case, to respond by Tuesday. Rather than acknowledge its mistake, the Trump people are going back to court yet again. 
Pat Young is a lawyer at CARECEN.


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