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Here we go again ... travel ban back before U.S. Supreme Court

Just when it seemed as if things were poised to settle down from a legal perspective in relation to the Trump administration's travel ban, the case is now heading back to the Supreme Court of the United States.

A mere three weeks ago, SCOTUS allowed for a partial lifting of the injunctions against that section of President Trump's executive order calling for visa applications for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to be put on hold for 90 days. It also held, however, that the travel ban could not be imposed against those foreign nationals from one of the six nations who had "a credible claim of bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

In the immediate wake of the decision, the State Department issued guidelines to U.S. consulates and embassies, which indicated that the familial relationships not covered by the travel ban included parents (in-laws included), children, spouses, adult children, siblings (step and half relationships included), and sons- and daughters-in-law.

In a fascinating turn of events, attorneys for the state of Hawaii successfully challenged the scope of these guidelines in the federal district court in Honolulu.

Specifically, a federal judge ruled that the State Department's guidelines were "unduly restrictive," and opened the door for grandchildren, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law to enter the nation.

"Had the Supreme Court intended to protect only immediate family members and parents-in-law, surely it could have said so. It did not," read the ruling. "Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents."

In another reversal, the judge ruled that those refugees working with resettlement agencies must be granted admission to the country, as such individuals do indeed have a "bona fide" relationship with a U.S. entity.

The response of the Justice Department has been swift.

In addition to filing a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to temporarily block this decision on Saturday, it also filed a motion with SCOTUS the day before, asking it to clarify its June 26 decision.

"Only this court can definitively settle whether the government's reasonable implementation is consistent with this court's stay," reads the DOJ's petition.

For its part, the nation's high court gave the state of Hawaii until tomorrow to respond.

Stay tuned for updates ...

If you have questions or concerns relating to the travel ban or another aspect of U.S. immigration law, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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