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Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Narrowing Scope Of Trump Travel Ban

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A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that extended family members such as grandparents are exempt from President Donald Trump's travel ban.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a lower court ruling that found the administration's view to be too narrow.

The judges determined that the administration failed to show how grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members are not close relatives under criteria set out by the Supreme Court.

"Stated simply, the Government does not offer a persuasive explanation for why a mother-in-law is clearly a bona fide relationship, in the Supreme Court's prior reasoning, but a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin is not," the judges wrote.

The appeals court also ruled that refugees with contractual commitments from U.S. resettlement agencies qualify as having a bona fide relationship.

The Justice Department downplayed the appeals court ruling and indicated the decision would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

"The Supreme Court has stepped in to correct these lower courts before, and we will now return to the Supreme Court to vindicate the executive branch's duty to protect the nation," a Justice Department spokeswoman said.

The decision impacts the administration's revised travel ban, which suspends the issuance of visas to people coming from the Muslim-dominated countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

(Photo: Michael Vadon)

by RTT Staff Writer

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