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Justice Department taking latest travel ban ruling to Supreme Court

SEATTLE -- The Justice Department says it will take President Donald Trump's much-litigated travel ban to the Supreme Court once more.

It comes after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected the administration's view of who is allowed into the U.S. under the president's travel ban. The three-judge panel says grandparents, cousins and similarly close relations of people in the U.S. shouldn't be prevented from coming to the country.

The court also says refugees accepted by a resettlement agency should be allowed in.

In a statement, the Justice Department said, "The Supreme Court has stepped in to correct these lower courts before, and we will now return to the Supreme Court to vindicate the executive branch's duty to protect the nation."

The Supreme Court, in a provisional ruling in June, said the ban couldn't be imposed on people who have a "bona fide" relationship to the U.S., pending additional arguments set for October. But the Supreme Court declined to clarify that definition, leaving it up for interpretation.

Last month, DOJ lawyers tried to make the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that grandparents and other relatives do not count as "bona fide" relationships. The three-judge panel met that claim with skepticism, giving an early indication of where the court would land.

"If a close familiar relationship is what's needed for an individual, how can the government take the position that a grandmother or a grandfather, or aunt or uncle of a child in the U.S., does not have a close familial relationship? Like, what universe does that come from?" said Judge Ronald Gould, visibly frustrated with the government's arguments at the time. 

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