I wrote a post when the Supreme Court ruled on Trump’s travel ban arguing that the decision was more expansive than the Administration’s interpretation. I also said that there will be more litigation to clarify who is encompassed within the “bona fide relationship” language the Supreme Court used. Yesterday, a federal judge in Hawaii agreed with my interpretation of the decision. The judge expanded the definition to encompass more family members than included in the Administration’s definition, which was limited to parents, in-laws, and siblings.
Advocates suing the Administration over the ban asked the judge to expound on the scope of the Supreme Court’s decision, and to clarify the “bona fide relationship” language in the decision. The judge previously refused to grant that request, but yesterday, he did.
The Judge ruled that the Administration’s interpretation is antithetical, ruling that such interpretation was erroneous. The judge reasoned that such interpretation does not comport to the Supreme Court ruling, since grandparents, in-laws, siblings, uncles and their children meet the close familial relationship encompassed in the Supreme Court’s decision.
The judge also agreed with my interpretation of the decision, where I argued that a simple promise of refugee status is enough to make refugees exempt from the ban. The Administration disagreed with the Plaintiffs’ argument, which simply out says that any refugee who has had the necessary background checks , medical tests, and has received a contract for resettlement is included within the scope of “bona fide” relationships. The Administration argued that individual refugees did not directly receive such commitment and that should bring out of the scope of the decision. The judge disagreed, saying that going through all these steps shows a bona fide relationship. He added that “[b]ona fide does not get more bona fide as that”.
This is yet another blow to the Administration’s travel ban. The think there will be more litigation about this ban, especially when I know that the “bona fide relationship” language in the Supreme Court’s decision was vague.
Please let me know your thoughts. To read the decision, click here.