U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to stay part of 9th Circuit ruling on refugee admissions

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Updated: The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to stay part of a federal appeals court ruling that had required the government to allow additional refugees to enter the United States.

The Justice Department wants to stay part of the appellate decision that said refugees should be allowed to enter if they have formal assurances from resettlement agencies that they will provide services when the refugees arrive. The Hill, BuzzFeed News and Politico have stories on the Justice Department’s request.

After the filing, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy granted the government’s stay request pending a response by the state of Hawaii, and pending further order by Kennedy or the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a tweet by a BuzzFeed reporter.

Thursday’s decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the federal government’s implementation of a June 26 Supreme Court order that said the Trump administration can’t enforce its travel ban against those with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States.

The 9th Circuit upheld a decision by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson on refugees with resettlement assurances that had been stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court pending the appeal.

The Justice Department wants to continue that stay, but it is not seeking a stay of a separate portion of the 9th Circuit decision interpreting what constitutes a bona fide relationship.

That section of the decision upheld Watson’s ruling that the travel ban can’t be used to exclude grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States. The Justice Department said it disagreed with that interpretation, but noted the U.S. Supreme Court had refused to disturb that finding pending appeal.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. to report on Kennedy’s stay.

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