On Thursday, a federal judge in Hawaii ruled that the White House’s list of relationships exempted from the administration’s Muslim travel ban must be expanded beyond immediate family to include grandparents/children, cousins, in-laws, aunts/uncles and nieces/nephews of those people already in the United States.
On Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded, vowing to fight the court’s ruling. In a statement from the DOJ, Sessions promised to go straight to the Supreme Court to “again vindicate the rule of law,” in the face of what he characterized as the an attempt by the Hawaiian court to “improperly [substitute] its policy preferences for that of the Executive branch.”
In other words: Sessions is ready to go to the highest court in the land to keep Muslim grandmothers visiting their grandchildren out of the U.S.
In fact, it was the exclusion of grandparents from the administration’s initial list of approved family exceptions to the Muslim ban that drew specific ire from Hawaii Judge Derrick Watson in his Thursday ruling.
“Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents,” Watson wrote in his decision. “Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”
For Sessions, however, it seems that grandparents (to say nothing of aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws) present a threat to national security that simply cannot stand.