Supreme Court denies Trump administration’s request to clarify travel ban, exempting grandparents

The Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the Trump administration’s request to clarify the court’s earlier order on the travel ban that took effect last month, leaving in place a lower court ruling that exempts grandparents of people in the US.

Yet the Supreme Court stayed the part of the lower court’s order that applied to refugees, allowing the Trump administration to continue enforcing the refugee ban until the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issues a ruling.

The Supreme Court in June had allowed parts of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to take effect, but exempted certain travellers from the six named countries who could credibly claim a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The order set off confusion on what types of relationships would qualify under the exemption, and the Trump administration initially excluded relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

But a Hawaii court ruled last week that those types of relationship must also be considered “close familial relationships” and therefore exempt from the ban. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a memo last Friday confirming that those types of relatives are eligible for visas.