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US District Court in Honolulu Provides Relief from Administration Interpretation of Supreme Court Travel Ban Ruling

In response to a filing by the State of Hawaii, the US District Court for Honolulu yesterday enjoined the administration’s restrictive interpretation of last month’s Supreme Court ruling.

The US Supreme Court had, on June 26th, issued an order in part allowing implementation of the administration’s “travel ban” executive order impacting nationals of six predominantly Muslim countries as well as refugees. This action was in conjunction with the Supreme Court’s decision to ultimately hear arguments on the case).

The Supreme Court ruling said that the administration could begin implementing the ban except as it applied to anyone with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The administration quickly implemented a very restrictive interpretation of the order, issuing instructions through the State Department that “grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, and brothers- and sisters-in-law” from the six nations were not to be considered as having such a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with anyone I the US, nor were refugees.

The State of Hawaii filed for an injunction against this restrictive interpretation, and the U.S. District Court in Honolulu yesterday, in an opinion by Judge Derrick K. Watson, agreed – enjoining this interpretation by the administration against both the relatives listed by the Department of State and Refugees (who will have commitments for assistance form US refugee resettlement organizations) as both having a credible claim of a bona fide relationship.