Four days ago I became a grandfather. So I find this decision by Judge Derrick Watson in the United District Court for the District of Hawaii something to personally relish.
Some background. After a string of court defeats regarding Trump’s travel ban executive orders, Trump falsely claimed victory when the Supreme Court partially reinstated the ban but only for those with “no connection to the United States at all” or when “there is no tie between the foreign national and the United States.” The Supreme Court flatly ruled the travel ban still “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The court defined that as a “close familial relationship.”
The Trump administration defined “close familial relationship” as including only a parent, parent-in-law, spouse, fiance, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling. Trump did not include grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles or cousins in the definition of “close familial relationships.” The State of Hawaii sued to include them.
The judge disagreed with the Trump administration’s interpretation of the Supreme Court decision. The judge emphasized the definition of “close familial relationship” had to be placed in the context of other statements by the Supreme Court allowing the travel ban to continue only for those with “no connection to the United States at all” and barring the travel ban from applying to those with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Such context suggested a broad definition of “close familial relationship”, not the narrow one preferred by the Trump administration.
The court also had some scathing criticism that as a new grandparent I found particularly pleasing.
“the government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense. Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.” [cite to case holding “that courts should not ‘abandon all common sense’ when considering injunctive relief.”].
“Grandparents are the epitome of close family members.” Who can argue with that? Certainly not me. Grandparents everywhere should celebrate that quote.
Trump argued that the grandparents are not close family members. Yet more proof that he is evil.