Federal Judge Rejects Hawaii's Challenge to Muslim Ban Exemptions

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Minutes before President Trump’s revised travel ban restricting immigration from six predominately Muslim countries was supposed to go into effect last Thursday, Hawaii’s Attorney General Douglas Chin filed an emergency motion to clarify its reinstatement.

On Thursday evening, a federal judge rejected Hawaii’s motion, “leaving Trump administration rules in place,” according to The Associated Press.


Hawaii filed the emergency order in an attempt to determine what the State Department defined as a close familial relationship — a requirement people from the six majority-Muslim countries must prove to be exempted from the ban.

Before amending its classification to include fiancés, the Trump administration’s revised restrictions prevented grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers and sisters-in-law, from qualifying as a close familial relationship.


In the ruling, Judge Derrick K. Watson, said that the Supreme Court should clarify Hawaii’s request instead of a federal court.


“Upon careful consideration of the parties’ submissions, it is evident that the parties quarrel over the meaning and intent of words and phrases authored not by this court, but by the Supreme Court in its June 26, 2017 per curiam decision,” Watson’s ruling declared. “Accordingly, the clarification to the modifications that the parties seek should be more appropriately sought in the Supreme Court.”

With Watson’s rejection of Hawaii’s request, the Trump administration’s interpretation of a “bona fide” relationship remains intact.