White House asks Supreme Court to allow
full travel ban
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[November 21, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White
House asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to allow President Donald
Trump's latest travel ban to take full effect after an appeals court in
California ruled last week that only parts of it could be enacted.
A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals on Nov. 13 partially granted a Trump administration request to
block at least temporarily a judge's ruling that had put the new ban on
hold. It ruled the government could bar entry of people from six
Muslim-majority countries with no connections to the United States.
Trump's ban was announced on Sept. 24 and replaced two previous versions
that had been impeded by federal courts.
The administration's appeal to the top U.S. court argued that the latest
travel ban differed from the previous orders "both in process and in
substance" and that the differences showed it "is based on
national-security and foreign-affairs objectives, not religious animus."
It also argued that even if the 9th Circuit ruled to uphold the partial
ban, the Supreme Court was likely to overturn that decision as it had
"the last time courts barred the President from enforcing entry
restrictions on certain foreign nationals in the interest of national
Last week's appeals court ruling meant the ban would only apply to
people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad who did not have
connections to the United States.
Those connections are defined as family relationships and "formal,
documented" relationships with U.S.-based entities such as universities
and resettlement agencies. Those with family relationships that would
allow entry include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law,
sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in
the United States.
The state of Hawaii, which sued to block the restrictions, argued that
federal immigration law did not give Trump the authority to impose them
on six of those countries. The lawsuit did not challenge restrictions
toward people from the two other countries listed in Trump's ban, North
Korea and Venezuela.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu ruled last month that
Hawaii was likely to succeed with its argument.
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A man exits the transit area after clearing immigration and customs
on arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia,
U.S., September 24, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/File Photo
Trump issued his first travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority
countries in January, just a week after he took office, and then
issued a revised one after the first was blocked by the courts. The
second one expired in September after a long court fight and was
replaced with another revised version.
Trump has said the travel ban is needed to protect the United States
from attacks by Islamist militants. As a candidate, Trump promised
"a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United
Critics of the travel ban in its various iterations call it a
"Muslim ban" that violates the U.S. Constitution by discriminating
on the basis of religion.
The 9th Circuit is due to hear oral arguments in the case on Dec. 6.
In a parallel case from Maryland, a judge also ruled against the
Trump administration and partially blocked the ban from going into
An appeal in the Maryland case is being heard on Dec. 8 by the 4th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The Maryland
case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which
represents several advocacy groups, including the International
Refugee Assistance Project.
(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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