WASHINGTON – Challengers to the Trump administration's latest travel ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries are urging the Supreme Court to reject the administration's plea to be allowed to fully enforce the ban.
Federal courts have prevented President Donald Trump's administration from banning people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who can claim a "bona fide" relationship with someone in the United States. Courts have said grandparents, cousins and other relatives count among the close relationships that are required.
Last week, the administration said blocking the full ban was causing "irreparable harm" because the policy is based on legitimate national security and foreign policy concerns.
But the challengers said in court papers filed Tuesday that the Supreme Court rejected a similar request from the administration last summer involving an earlier version of the travel ban that was making its way through the courts.
Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin told the court that "the justification for that dramatic relief has only weakened" because the latest travel ban, unlike its two predecessors, is permanent.
In lawsuits filed in Hawaii and Maryland, federal courts said the updated travel ban that Trump announced in September violated federal immigration law. The travel policy also applies to travelers from North Korea and to some Venezuelan government officials and their families, but the lawsuits did not challenge those restrictions.
Arguments are scheduled for Dec. 6 before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle. The Maryland case is due to be argued before the full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 8 in Richmond, Virginia.