The Trump administration is returning to the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn lower court rulings that limit the application of President Trump’s travel ban executive order. Justice Department lawyers asked the high court Monday to allow authorities to keep up a block on many refugees covered by the ban, Politico reports. The administration threw in the towel for now on efforts to insist that grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins of U.S. citizens be covered by the ban despite the Supreme Court ordering an exemption for close family members.
A federal judge in Hawaii ruled against the federal government on both issues in July, and a 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel declined to disturb that ruling. The dispute taken to the justices Monday is over how much of the travel ban can be enforced until the Supreme Court rules on the broader issues. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments Oct. 10. At issue are about 24,000 refugees who have been assigned to U.S. refugee resettlement agencies but not yet given final approval to depart for the U.S. Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary stay Monday afternoon that essentially freezes the status quo. Without such an action, Watson’s order would have kicked in Tuesday, with the administration required to dramatically increase its admission of refugees.