The Department of Justice asked the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to overturn an appeals court ruling that narrowed enforcement of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
The dispute concerns the reach of the high court’s June ruling, which allowed the president’s order to take partial effect. Though the rulings allows the president to suspend the State Department’s refugee resettlement program for 120 days, it also provides that refugees with a “bona fide” relationship to a person or entity in the United States be permitted entry.
In establishing guidance for enforcement of the travel ban, the Trump administration concluded that refugees who had received assurances of assistance from resettlement agencies in the U.S. did not have a sufficiently strong relationship with an American entity to warrant exemption from the ban. A coalition of states and civil rights groups challenged the guidance, arguing the Supreme Court’s order extends to this group of refugees, which numbers approximately 25,000.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the administration last Thursday, prompting the Justice Department to appeal to the Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit’s order requires the administration to admit refugees contracting with resettlement agencies beginning Tuesday, so the high court is likely to move quickly in issuing its own ruling.
Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary stay of the 9th Circuit’s order Monday afternoon, pending a response from the coalition challenging the administration. The stay will remain in effect until noon Tuesday. Kennedy is the justice assigned to review emergency motions arising from the 9th Circuit.
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