(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Washington - Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has issued a temporary order allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees for the time being.
The order is in response to the administration's request for the high court to block a lower court ruling that could allow up to 24,000 refugees to enter the United States.
Kennedy ordered challengers to the administration's refugee ban to submit written arguments in support of the lower court ruling by midday Tuesday.
SEE: Miami Airport calls out Trump official for sharing fake news
The appellate ruling would allow refugees to enter the United States if a resettlement agency in the U.S. had agreed to take them in. The ruling would have taken effect Tuesday without the high court's intervention.
The administration is not challenging the part of the ruling that applies to a temporary ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries. The appeals court ruled that grandparents and cousins of people already in the U.S. can't be excluded from the country under the travel ban.
The Supreme Court already has weighed in twice on lower court rulings striking down or limiting the travel and refugee bans, though it has to rule on their validity.
The 90-day travel ban affects visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
ALSO SEE: US Travel restrictions have Muslims on hajj concerned
The high court is scheduled to hear arguments about the legality of the travel and refugee bans in October. By that point, the original 90-day travel ban will have lapsed and the 120-day refugee ban will have just a few weeks to run. The administration has yet to say whether it plans to renew the exclusions, expand them or make them permanent.
The administration told the court Monday said that changing the way it enforces the policy on refugees would allow "admission of refugees who have no connection to the United States independent of the refugee-admission process itself."
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Want to live like a Trump? Airbnb can make it happen
- North Korean tensions with US has tiny Pacific island on edge
- Grandmother in travel ban flap arrives in US