The U.S. Supreme Court will temporarily allow the Trump administration to block many refugees from six mostly Muslim countries without direct familial ties in the United States from entering this country.
In a brief order issued Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy delayed implementation of a ruling issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have allowed entry to refugees with formal ties to resettlement agencies here.
Kennedy put that ruling on hold until lawyers opposing the travel ban can file their response to the administration's motion by noon Tuesday.
The action comes after an emergency request to set aside the appeals court ruling from the Trump administration which is seeking to enact the broadest travel ban possible before the full Supreme Court hears arguments on its constitutionality on October 10.
The appeals court also had ruled that grandparents and other relatives of people already living in the U.S. cannot be barred entrance under the president's travel ban. Lawyers for the Justice Department did not challenge that part of the ruling.
Kennedy's ruling Monday is the latest in the see-saw legal battle over the Trump administration's effort to block entry to travelers and refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In June, the Supreme Court partially backed the travel ban but said the administration could not bar people with "a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." The high court did not define what it meant by a "bona fide relationship."
The administration initially allowed entry to parents, children, spouses, siblings and in-laws. But it excluded grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from its interpretation of that ruling. The administration also excluded some 24,000 refugees with ties to resettlement agencies.
In July, the justices sided with a lower court ruling that grandparents and cousins of a person in the U.S. fit the definition of a close relationship. But they disagreed with the lower court which also ruled in favor refugees "with formal assurances" from a U.S. resettlement agency. The justices sent the case back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration, setting the stage for last week's ruling.