Supreme Court rules grandparents exempt from Trump travel ban

This interim ruling comes as the Supreme Court waits to hear arguments in October on the merits of the challenge to the Trump travel ban.
By Vicky Webb | Jul 20, 2017
Dealing a setback to the Trump administration's travel ban, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand Wednesday a lower court decision greatly expanding the types of family members including grandparents who are exempt from the administration's revised travel ban.

The Trump administration had appealed a ruling last week by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii that added grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-law, and sisters-in-law to the narrow list of relatives allowed by the travel ban.

However, the Supreme Court gave the White House something of a victory by temporarily blocking part of Watson's order that allowed in refugees connected with a resettlement agency in the U.S. The court said that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco should now hear the appeal on that issue, a report by the Los Angeles Times said. This means that as many as 24,000 refugees already contracted with a charitable organization could be denied entry into the U.S.

This interim ruling comes as the Supreme Court waits to hear arguments in October on the merits of the challenge to the Trump travel ban. In an earlier ruling, the court exempted travelers to the country who had a "bona fide relationship" to a person or entity in the U.S., but did not define the reach of such a relationship.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch dissented from the part of Wednesday's ruling that allowed in grandparents and other close family relatives.

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