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July 19, 2017

Supreme Court Offers Muddled Response to Hawaiian Judge's Judicial-Fiat Rewriting of the Travel Ban

The Hawaiian judge made a couple of rulings. First, he found that the government's definition of a "bona fide relationship" to a US citizen was too restrictive -- limited to parents, children, siblings and spouses -- and opened it up to... practically everyone.

Watson subsequently expanded the definition of "bona fide relationship" to include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, or siblings-in-law.

Then he claimed that the US could not limit immigrants who had a "formal assurance" from a refugee assistance group. Which seems to me to be something he just sorta made up on the spot.

The Supreme Court blocked that second ruling, but seems to have made no judgment on the first -- for now. The case will continue to be litigated at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has well-earned its nickname of the "Ninth Circus." After that, the Supreme Court will have the chance to review their ruling as well.

The Supreme Court did decline a DOJ request for a clarification of the Supreme Court order putting most of the travel ban into place -- about what they meant by a "bona fide relationship." What does that mean, exactly?

A lot of outlets are reporting this as some sort of victory for the left. I don't think so. I think the Supreme Court routinely declines to decide until the correct procedural moment for deciding, which in this case would be after the Ninth Circuit's review.

However, they could have struck the Hawaiian judge's order on this point down, but declined to do so.

But perhaps that's because they thought the issue was currently moot -- as the State Department, of course, has rewritten its rules of who is permitted in under the "bona fide relationship" exemption to include all the distant relations the Hawaiian judge ordered.

Thus, at this moment, there really isn't a bona fide dispute over the question, which is something essential for a Supreme Court ruling, particularly on an emergency basis (as such injunctions are).

All in all, basically a rap against the Hawaiian judge, with additional questions put off until the Ninth Circuit writes up its completely error-ridden opinion.


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posted by Ace at 06:06 PM

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