(CNS) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked part of a lower court ruling that would have allowed
certain refugees into the country even though they had been banned by a
presidential executive order.
administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn part of the ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said grandparents, grandchildren, cousins
and other close relatives of people in the United States should not be
prevented from entering the country.
government sought the immediate intervention of the Supreme Court, saying that
action was needed to stop lower courts from unraveling the travel provisions
that were approved earlier by the top court. Justice Anthony Kennedy granted the stay
order stopped the refugee exemption that would have taken effect the morning of
Sept. 12 under the 9th Circuit's ruling issued five days earlier. A three-judge
panel of the San Francisco-based court unanimously ruled that the
administration's revised travel ban affecting people from six primarily
Muslim-majority countries was too strict.
government argued in an application for a stay that the 9th Circuit
ruling "severely undermined" the Supreme Court's earlier ruling on
refugees entering the country.
application said the quick implementation of the lower court's ruling
"will disrupt the status quo and frustrate orderly implementation of the
order's refugee provisions that this court made clear months ago could take
In June, the
Supreme Court said in a provisional ruling the ban can be enforced
pending arguments scheduled before the court in October. The justices also said
the ban should not apply to visitors who have a "bona fide relationship"
with organizations or people including those with close family ties or a job
June, there has been a debate about what constitutes "close ties." The government has
maintained that such relations include family members and in-laws, but not
grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.
Circuit's ruling came in a case filed in Hawaii as a challenge to the administration's
revised 90-day travel ban affecting people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria
case, a federal district judge overruled the government's stance and expanded
the definition of people with a bona fide relationship to include other relatives or
categories. The judge also determined that refugees from the six countries who
already had been accepted for resettlement by a sponsoring agency should be
able to enter the U.S.