Federal Court Lifts Part Of A Block On Travel Ban

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A block on the third version of President Donald Trump's travel ban was lifted Nov. 13, causing it to go partially into effect.

Trump's most recent ban was originally issued by executive order on Sept. 24. It sought to exclude all travel from six Muslim-majority countries, as well as North Korea and Venezuela.

The ban drew criticism from those who said it discriminated against Muslims. Trump has said that it is security-related, RT reports. The order was prevented from going into effect by two judges.

The San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals placed a hold on the block implemented by one of the judges, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii, who had ruled that the ban was unconstitutional on the basis of discrimination.

Watson's ruling had prevented the ban from going into effect almost entirely for the six Muslim-majority countries -- Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad -- though he said that it could still be implemented for citizens of Venezuela and North Korea.

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A separate case brought forward in Maryland on behalf of the ACLU and other groups also blocked certain aspects of the ban. An appeal on that case will be heard by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 8, Reuters reports.

According to the new ruling, the government will be allowed to implement the ban to anyone from those six countries except those "who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

RT reports the US. Supreme Court previously made an exemption for individuals with "bona fide" relationships to the U.S. when reviewing the second version of the ban in June. The extent of the term has been disputed in various courts.

The circuit court judge's interpreted "bona fide relationships" to include personal relationships with grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of U.S. residents. According to Reuters, documented connections to U.S.-entities such as educational institutions and resettlement agencies also count.

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The decision to issue a stay on Watson's ruling was decided by a three-judge panel comprised of Michael Daly Hawkins, Ronald Gould and Richard Paez, all of whom were appointed under former President Bill Clinton, Politico reports.

The ban is still partially blocked since the Maryland judge's case is still in place, so it does not have an effect on travel. It is also not permanent. The same three Ninth Circuit judges who overturned Watson's ruling will hear arguments on whether to leave it in place on Dec. 8.

Sources: Reuters, RT, Politico / Featured Image: James Cridland/Flickr / Embedded Images: Manaj2/Wikimedia Commons, Ken Lund/Flickr

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