Attorneys for the state of Hawaii are asking the Supreme Court to not get involved in a federal appeals court ruling against President Trump's modified travel ban, after the administration requested that the high court intervene in the case.
Hawaii's attorneys wrote that Trump's team wants the Supreme Court to "engage in its own factbound review of the refugee-resettlment process" with "mere weeks before hearing this [travel ban] case on the merits" next month.
"That is not this Court's role," Hawaii's attorneys wrote. "The lower courts, not this Court, are 'best qualified to deal with the flinty, intractable realities of day-to-day implementation of' the Court's 'constitutional commands.' ... And contrary to the Government's hyperbole, they have not rendered the stay 'functionally inoperative': The Government retains the authority to bar tens of thousands of refugees from entering the country, as indeed it has done for months."
After the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to stop a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against the government's interpretation of the modified travel ban, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order on Monday temporarily halting the lower court's decision.
On Tuesday, Hawaii said granting the government's request that allows the exclusion of refugees with formal assurances to enter the country produces harm that is "imminent and real."
"The Government entirely ignores the serious harms to respondents," Hawaii's attorneys wrote. "Hawaii is harmed when refugees with formal assurances are excluded; the State has a policy of assisting in the resettlement of refugees and cannot implement that policy if refugees with formal assurances are unable to enter the country."
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in the travel ban case next month, the Trump administration has squared off against the state of Hawaii over the scope of the ban permitted to proceed by the Supreme Court.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided last week the Trump administration's interpretation of the Supreme Court's order on the ban was bunk. The western appeals court said the government did not provide a "persuasive explanation" for who precisely should be covered by the ban.
The Trump administration's appeal of the 9th Circuit's most recent decision on travel to the Supreme Court comes ahead of next month's arguments, as the appeals court's decision would have been implemented Tuesday if not for Kennedy's temporary block issued on Monday.