In that ruling the justices sought to strike a middle ground balancing Mr. Trump's powers versus the rights of a select group of people in the U.S. Justice Department lawyers, though, said if Judge Watson is right, nearly everyone can continue to travel to the U.S. despite the ban.
Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin, who sought the broader definition, said Thursday's ruling "makes clear that the US government may not ignore the scope of the partial travel ban as it sees fit".
The Supreme Court allowed a scaled-back version of the travel ban to take effect last month. The ruling came down on Thursday, July 13.
Now, the Department of Justice has appealed to the Supreme Court to put a stop the Hawaii judge's ruling.
His order also vastly expanded the list of USA family relationships that refugees and visitors from six Muslim-majority countries can use to get into the country, including grandparents and grandchildren. The conservative-leaning Supreme Court is not now in session, but the justices can handle emergency requests. Justice Anthony Kennedy is responsible for emergency requests relating to western states, or the court as a whole could hear the request, in which five votes are needed to grant it.
"The truth here is that the government's interpretation of the Supreme Court's stay order defies commonsense", said Omar Jadwat, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union involved in challenging the ban, Reuters reported.
"Once again, we are faced with a situation in which a single federal district court has undertaken by a nationwide injunction to micromanage decisions of the co-equal Executive Branch related to our national security", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. Watson also ruled that the assurance by a resettlement agency to provide basic services to a newly arrived refugee constitutes an adequate connection to the United States because it is a sufficiently formal and documented agreement that triggers responsibilities and compensation. In his decision, Watson harshly criticized the government's definition of close family relations as "the antithesis of common sense".
He also ruled that potential refugees whose files have been shared with resettlement agencies in the USA are considered to have a "close" relationship and must be admitted, despite the country already having hit the 50,000 cap Mr. Trump imposed on refugees this fiscal year.
His order also vastly expanded the list of United States family relationships that refugees and visitors from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, can use to get into the country, including grandparents and grandchildren.
The U.S. Supreme Court stands in Washington, D.C., on May 18, 2015.