In the court filing, the Justice Department said Watson's ruling on refugees would make the Supreme Court's decision on that part of the executive order "effectively meaningless".
"The district court has issued decisions that are entrusted to the Executive Branch, undermined national security, delayed necessary action, created confusion, and violated a proper respect for separation of powers", the attorney general said.
The parties challenging the ban have until noon on Tuesday to respond to the government's request for the Supreme Court to clarify its ruling.
It's the latest round in a legal battle that's now stretched almost six months, to the first days of the Trump administration.
The Supreme Court's ruling exempted a large swath of refugees and travelers with a "bona fide relationship" with a person or an entity in the U.S. The justices did not define those relationships but said they could include a close relative, a job offer or admission to a college or university. "Treating all of these relationships as "close familial relationship (s)' reads the term 'close" out of the Court's decision".
The Trump administration interpreted that to mean spouses, siblings, parents, fiancées and children. DOJ said the district court's interpretation "empties the court's decision of meaning, as it encompasses not just "close" family members, but virtually all family members".
Andrew R. Arthur, a former immigration judge and now resident fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, said under Judge Watson's vision, it would be hard not to qualify for an exemption because of the ease of finding a family tie that would be approved.
Afghan forces recapture Nawa district from Taliban in Helmand
Afghan security forces and volunteers visit the scene of an attack in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, on January 10, 2017. He estimated district security would require 300 police, but said that kind of manpower was not available.
In response to a Hawaii federal judge's order last week, the department instructed US diplomats to consider grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts and uncles, ?nephews and nieces and first cousins to meet the criteria for applicants from the six countries to receive a USA visa.
Watson enlarged that group to include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
"Family members have been separated and real people have suffered enough", Chin said.
"Judge Watson's order does not limit this relationship to first or even second cousins", he wrote in an online analysis. This well-intentioned item was misconstrued by critics (including a Seattle judge who ruled against it on February 3) as being "anti-Muslim", so it was removed from the second order.
Although the Supreme Court is not in session, emergency requests can still be handled.
"(W) e will now reluctantly return directly to the Supreme Court to again vindicate the rule of law and the Executive Branch's duty to protect the nation", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement, Efe reported. "Judge Watson's order renders the Supreme Court's decision all but a dead letter".
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