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Saturday, July 15, 2017

The "Travel Ban" Ruling

Another day brings more moves on the President's executive order temporarily barring entry to the USA for citizens from a few countries with terrorism problems.  The EO was barred by a district court in Hawaii, that ruling was affirmed by the 9th Circuit, and then the Supreme Court reversed that and let the EO stand with one exception:  people who are "close family members" of those already in America cannot be barred under this EO.  Normally, a Supreme Court ruling would end the matter, but the opponents would not stop.  They went back to the court in Hawaii and asked for the judge to modify the exception as interpreted by the government.  The Hawaiian federal court properly denied the request.  The case is still before the Supreme Court, and the local judge does not have jurisdiction.  There followed an appeal to the 9th Circuit which affirmed what the local court did, but since it did not like the result in the Supreme Court, it gave the litigants instructions on what they could do to have the Hawaiian district court hear the matter.  The opponents went back for a third time to the Hawaiian judge who, this time, expanded the exception for close family members to include anyone related to the person seeking admission by defining cousins to be within the exception.  The court didn't even limit it to first cousins.

So what was the next move?  The government has now appealed the matter and gone directly to the Supreme Court for a ruling.  My prediction is that the Supreme Court (acting through Justice Kennedy) will overturn the order of the Hawaiian district court.  I doubt that the Justices of the Supreme Court will look kindly on a district court judge changing the meaning of their order.  We will soon see what happens.

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