Trump to Ask SCOTUS to Block Federal Judge's Ruling on Travel Ban

Posted: Jul 14, 2017 3:30 PM

The Trump administration announced Friday that it will ask the Supreme Court to block a federal judge’s ruling that expands the list of relatives exempt from the president’s travel ban.

“The Supreme Court has had to correct this lower court once, and we will now reluctantly return directly to the Supreme Court to again vindicate the rule of law and the executive branch's duty to protect the nation,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, said the Trump administration did not abide by a Supreme Court ruling that allowed a partial version of the ban to take effect.

The government began to allow residents of six Muslim-majority nations with immediate family in the U.S. to enter the country. Watson said those criteria were too narrow.

Watson was one of the federal judges who issued a nationwide injunction blocking the initial ban, as well as a revised version. (The Hill)

"Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents," Watson said in his ruling. "Indeed grandparents are the epitome of close family members."

The decision also includes grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of people in the United States.

"By this decision, the district court has improperly substituted its policy preferences for the national security judgments of the executive branch in a time of grave threats, defying both the lawful prerogatives of the executive branch and the directive of the Supreme Court," Sessions said.