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The federal judge in Hawaii who put President Donald Trump's travel and refugee ban on hold back in March has narrowed the injunction doing so following a June 12 appeals court decision that ordered the changes.
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week upheld the Hawaii court's injunction blocked enforcement of the 90-day ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries and 120-day halt to the refugee program. However, the appeals court also held that the Trump administration could conduct internal reviews called for under the executive order while litigation against the order proceeded.
Hours after the Ninth Circuit issued the mandate in the appeal on Monday — formally putting its opinion into effect — US District Judge Derrick Watson released the amended injunction in the case, allowing the federal government to conduct "internal review procedures" relating to the travel and refugee programs at issue as long as those reviews "do not burden individuals outside of the executive branch of the federal government."
The travel and refugee bans themselves, though, remain on hold for now.
The amended injunction was issued less than a day before the plaintiffs in the case are set to brief the Supreme Court on related issues. Specifically, their filing is to address the effect of the Ninth Circuit's ruling on their argument that the injunction against enforcement of the travel and refugee bans should remain in place if the justices decide to hear an appeal of the Hawaii executive order challenge or a related challenge out of the Fourth Circuit. The Hawaii challengers will also likely argue in their brief that the court should not even take up the appeals sought by the federal government.
The Hawaii challengers' brief is due by noon Tuesday, and the federal government can reply to that brief by noon Wednesday.
The justices are expected to consider at their Thursday conference whether to hear the appeals of either or both challenges and, if so, whether to put the injunctions in the two cases on hold during the appeal — a move that would allow the Trump administration to enforce the travel and refugee bans during the appeal.