The Trump Department of Justice on Friday evening asked the Supreme Court to overturn a federal judge's ruling that the travel ban cannot be used to exclude grandparents of U.S. residents who hail from the six majority-Muslim nations the order targets.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said in his decision Thursday that "common sense ... dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members." The DOJ argues that Watson's ruling "empties the [Supreme] Court's [previous travel ban] decision of meaning, as it encompasses not just 'close' family members but virtually all family members."
Past immigration laws have excluded grandparents from the "close family" category, which is limited to "parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, fiancé, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling (whether whole or half), and step relationships."