Last Thursday, a three-judge 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that those who have relationships with a resettlement agency should be exempt from an executive order banning refugees. A coalition of states and civil rights groups challenged the guidance, arguing the Supreme Court's order extends to this group of refugees, which numbers approximately 25,000.
In his filing, acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall said DOJ was only asking for a stay for the lower court ruling as it applies to the refugees. But the Supreme Court refused to go along with the administration's view that it could keep out grandparents, cousins and some other family members.
Since then, lawyers for Hawaii, which sued to block the ban, and the Trump administration have continued to fight over who is covered by those standards.
The administration also sought to reverse the part of the ruling that protected refugees who were in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, The Hill reported. That was a strong hint - a hint that the Ninth Circuit did not take - that there were five members of the Supreme Court who were unlikely to agree with the order benefiting refugees.
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The high court is scheduled to hear arguments about the legality of the travel and refugee bans in October.
The administration told the court Monday said that changing the way it enforces the policy on refugees would allow "admission of refugees who have no connection to the United States independent of the refugee-admission process itself".
The government took a narrow view of that interpretation.
The measure was supposed to have been temporary - lasting 90 days for citizens of the six affected countries, and 120 days for refugees.
The countries that weren't supplying adequate information were then to be given 50 days to begin doing so, and after that, top US officials were to give Trump a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a more permanent travel ban.
The arguments hinged on a stipulation in the travel ban that refugees in the pipeline can only be accepted if they have a "bona fide relationship" with a U.S. individual or entity.