The White House asked the US Supreme Court on Monday to allow President Donald Trump's latest travel ban to take full effect after an appeals court in California ruled last week that only parts of it could be enacted.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court on 13 November partially granted a Trump administration request to block at least temporarily a judge's ruling that had put the new ban on hold.
The ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco allowed the administration to ban people from six mostly Muslim countries unless they have a "bona fide" relationship with someone in the US.
Those connections are defined as family relationships and ''formal, documented'' relationships with US-based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies. Those with family relationships that would allow entry include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people in the United States.
Trump's ban was announced on 24 September and replaced two previous versions that had been impeded by federal courts.
Last month, a federal judge in Hawaii had blocked most of Trump's third travel ban just before it was due to take effect. A judge in Maryland separately blocked it to a lesser degree, saying Trump could bar people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen as long as they did not have "bona fide" relationships with people or organizations already in the US.
The travel ban also applies to persons from North Korea and to some Venezuelan government officials and their families, but these restrictions were not challenged.
The application filed Monday by the US Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to put the Hawaii judge's ruling on hold.
Preventing the president from enforcing "his national-security and foreign-relations judgment will cause ongoing irreparable harm to the government and the public, especially by requiring the executive to disregard the identified inadequacies and by undermining the proclamation's goal of inducing cooperation by other nations," the government's application said.
If granted, the full ban would be in effect while the government's appeal makes its way through the courts.
Hawaii attorney general Doug Chin said Monday, "We look forward to the Supreme Court's review of this matter, and to the oral argument before the court of appeals in two weeks."
Arguments are scheduled for 6 December at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle. The Maryland case is due to be argued before the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals on 8 December.
In a separate 9th Circuit ruling Monday, a request by six states to intervene in the Hawaii lawsuit was denied. California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Washington filed a motion last month asking to be parties in Hawaii's lawsuit. They agree with Hawaii that the ban is unconstitutional.
The administration's appeal to the top US court argued that the latest travel ban differed from the previous orders ''both in process and in substance'' and that the differences showed it ''is based on national-security and foreign-affairs objectives, not religious animus''.
Trump issued his first travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries in January, just a week after he took office, and then issued a revised one after the first was blocked by the courts. The second one expired in September after a long court fight and was replaced with another revised version.
Trump has said the travel ban is needed to protect the United States from attacks by Islamist militants. As a candidate, Trump promised ''a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States''.
Critics of the travel ban in its various iterations call it a ''Muslim ban'' that violates the US Constitution by discriminating on the basis of religion.