WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the complete 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 acted upon.
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 travel ban was widely viewed as an attempt by Trump to fulfil his campaign promised in which he vowed to prevent Muslims from entering the United States until an assessment of the U.S. immigration policy could be made.
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.
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 States.”
Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Peter Cooney Additional relevant editing by Muslim Eye