Supreme Court Order
Issued on July 19, 2017

Policy Summary

In response to an appeal from the state of Hawaii (which I discuss in detail here), the Supreme Court issued an order in a pending case, which provided both good and bad news for opponents of Trump’s Travel Ban. In short the basis of both the appeal and the Supreme Court’s response to it, hinged on the definition of a “bona fide relationship”. The definition of a “bona fide relationship” is relevant, as when the Supreme Court decided to rule on the Travel Ban, it exempted those with a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S Citizen or National while it deliberates.The good news is that the court agreed with Hawaii’s interpretation that grandparents should be considered a “bona fide relationship”, and thus temporarily allowed into the county while the court deliberates. The bad news however, is that the court disagreed with Hawaii’s assertion that refugees who were being assisted by American nonprofits in their resettlement have a “bona fide relationship” with an American. This means that the over 24,000 refugees who are in the process of resettlement with an American nonprofit organization will not be able to find refuge from war and famine in the country.


In the order, it is stated that Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch would have blocked Hawaii’s appeal entirely while the case proceeds- Including grandparents entering the country. These are the very same justices that voted to keep the entire Travel Ban in place while the court deliberates on the fate of the travel ban. On the flip side, this means that the two right leaning moderates of the Court: Justices Kennedy and Roberts sided with the court’s four member liberal bloc against the ban, to form a 6 member coalition in favor of allowing grandparents. This is no time for complacency, as all it would take for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the ban is Kennedy and Roberts swinging their votes towards the conservative side. As such, It is now more important than ever to speak out against the Travel Ban and make your voice heard.

Engagement Resources

  • Donate to Muslim Advocates – Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and education organization dedicated to combating Muslim hate, empowering American Muslim communities and fighting discrimination against Muslims through legal action.
  • Find a Congressional Town Hall Meeting Near You – Search by town and state or zip code to find a congressional Town Hall scheduled near you.  Voice your concerns about the Travel Ban and other Trump Administration policies directly to your Representative or Senator.
  • Volunteer or donate to Amnesty International – Amnesty International is new non-governmental organization focused on human rights. They have been on the tirelessly fighting the travel ban and advocating for refugees through both grassroots and legal action.

This brief was compiled by William Lucier. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact



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