A federal appeals court on Monday gave the Trump Administration temporary permission to partially enforce restrictions on entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals from six countries, and the Justice Department moved promptly to take advantage of the ruling.
After two trial judges – one in Hawaii, the other in Maryland – temporarily barred enforcement of the President Trump’s third attempt to curb arrivals from nations with Muslim majority populations, Administration lawyers asked two separate appeals courts to allow it to begin enforcing the September 24 presidential order.
On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit relaxed somewhat the order issued by the trial judge in Hawaii. The exclusion of foreign nationals from the six nations, the Circuit Court said, could be enforced generally against all persons covered by it, but not those individuals who have a close tie with a person living in the U.S., including a wide range of family ties. That is the same group of potential entrants that were allowed to enter under the Maryland judge’s ruling, which was narrower in that respect than the Hawaiian judge’s order. The Ninth Circuit decision put the two orders on the same level, and the Justice Department took that as permission to announce it will apply the restrictions as now permitted. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has not yet acted on a government request to put all of the Maryland order on hold.