Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Justice Department Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Refugee Ban

Getty Image Getty Image
Howard Terry | 12 September, 2017, 00:19

The Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court Monday to stay parts of a lower court's ruling which placed substantial restrictions on the administration's travel ban.

The Justice Department's high court filing Monday follows an appeals court ruling last week that would allow refugees to enter the United States if a resettlement agency in the USA had agreed to accept their case.

At issue is whether the president can block a group of about 24,000 refugees with assurances from entering the United States after the Supreme Court decided in June to permit a limited version of his travel ban to take effect.

Trump administration lawyers challenged that ruling but not the president's temporary ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries.

The justices are scheduled to hear arguments October 10 on a pair of cases related to the ban.

"The court's immediate intervention is needed once more", acting Solicitor Gen. Jeffrey Wall said in an emergency motion filed with Kennedy, who oversees the 9th Circuit.

What isn't settled is a lower court order protecting refugees who do not have close family members in the United States.

In a one-page ruling, signed by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court announced that the exemption would be stayed pending a response from the state of Hawaii.

Last week, a federal appeals court panel weighed in, deciding that the administration could block neither grandparents nor refugees with assurances. That was a strong hint - a hint that the Ninth Circuit did not take - that there were five members of the Supreme Court who were unlikely to agree with the order benefiting refugees.

The countries that weren't supplying adequate information were then to be given 50 days to begin doing so, and after that, top US officials were to give Trump a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a more permanent travel ban. By that point, the original 90-day travel ban will have lapsed and the 120-day refugee ban will have just a few weeks to run.

The administration told the court Monday said that changing the way it enforces the policy on refugees would allow "admission of refugees who have no connection to the United States independent of the refugee-admission process itself".

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