Federal judge makes decision on Hawaii’s travel ban motion

Hawaii’s emergency motion to challenge the scope of President Trump’s travel ban was denied by a federal judge on Thursday.

The state attempted to challenge the government’s definition of “close family members” that are allowed to enter the U.S. if they are coming from any one of the six countries listed in the ban.

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld parts of the president’s travel ban, which includes exemptions for a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, or fiancé. Hawaii’s motion sought to expand the exemptions to include “grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of people currently living in the United States.”

In denying the request without prejudice, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said in a ruling Thursday in Honolulu that the Supreme Court is the best venue to deal with the issue.

“Because Plaintiffs seek clarification of the June 26, 2017 injunction modifications authored by the Supreme Court, clarification should be sought there, not here,” Watson wrote. “This court will not upset the Supreme Court’s careful balancing and ‘equitable judgment.’”

The executive order will be in force for 90 days.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 26 that the administration could begin enforcing part of the executive order until it makes a final ruling. The high court also agreed to take up the government’s appeal of lower-court rulings which had blocked implementation of Trump’s executive order.

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