The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to stop part of an appeals court ruling from going into effect that would limit enforcement of President Trump's refugee ban.
The department did not ask the court to immediately block a separate part of Thursday's ruling by the 9th Circuit that said grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of legal USA residents should be exempted from Trump's ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries.
A 9th Circuit order, due to take effect on Tuesday, would have cleared the way for as many as 24,000 refugees who have "a sponsorship-assurance agreement" with a USA -based refugee-resettlement agency, the government said.
At issue is whether the president can block a group of about 24,000 refugees with assurances from entering the United States after the Supreme Court decided in June to permit a limited version of his travel ban to take effect.
"Will will fight it", responded Neal Katyal, one of the lawyers defending refugees and travelers blocked from coming to the U.S.by Trump's executive orders.
The 9th Circuit's order requires the administration to admit refugees contracting with resettlement agencies beginning Tuesday, so the high court is likely to move quickly in issuing its own ruling.
The president originally called to block almost all refugee arrivals with an executive order in January, followed by an amended replacement to that order in March.
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"The court's immediate intervention is needed once more", acting Solicitor Gen. Jeffrey Wall said in an emergency motion filed with Kennedy, who oversees the 9th Circuit.
The measure was supposed to have been temporary - lasting 90 days for citizens of the six affected countries, and 120 days for refugees.
The debates here, now before the Supreme Court, have centered around what constitutes such a "bona fide relationship".
Last week, a federal appeals court panel weighed in, deciding that the administration could block neither grandparents nor refugees with assurances.
What isn't settled is a lower court order protecting refugees who do not have close family members in the United States.
Absent Supreme Court action, the Ninth Circuit's decision is due to go into effect Tuesday.
The Justice Department is appealing an injunction on President Trump's travel ban, even though a significant portion of the ban is set to expire by the October 10 court date. A series of court decisions since then have said that order must include people with grandparents and cousins in this country.