By Max Greenwood - 07-14-17 22:37 PM EDT
The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday to block a federal judge's ruling that grandparents of U.S. citizens and refugees already being processed for resettlement are exempt from President Trump's travel ban.
In a court filing, the Justice Department asked the court to overturn the ruling of a U.S. district judge in Hawaii that sought to limit who is affected by the travel ban, which bars citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
The Supreme Court announced last month that it would hear a challenge to the travel ban later this year, but partially lifted an injunction that barred the order from taking effect.
The court said that the U.S. government would still have to allow people with a "bona fide relationship" to a person or entity in the U.S. to enter the country.
The Trump administration argued that directive did not include grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and the like.
But U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said that the administration's definition of "bona fide relationship" was too narrow, and ruled that grandparents were also among those allowed into the country.
Watson, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, was one of the federal judges who issued a nationwide injunction earlier this year blocking Trump's initial ban and the revised version.
The Supreme Court is not currently in session, but can hear emergency requests.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled earlier Friday that the administration would defend the president's order in court.
"The Supreme Court has had to correct this lower court once, and we 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," he said in a statement.