On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments that the current phase of the dispute over the executive orders issued by President Donald Trump should be first heard in lower appeals courts from those challenging the orders. This includes lawyers for the US state of Hawaii.
Late last week, administration lawyers attempted to get clarification from the Supreme Court on its June 26 decision. The Trump team asserted that only the justices themselves could spell out exactly what they meant in their decision to narrow the power of the US government to put in place sweeping exclusions of foreign nationals and immigrant refugees from other countries.
But, the lawyers for the challengers have directly challenged that argument. They say the Supreme Court does not have to clarify rulings and that the justices have rejected such requests in the past. The lawyers claim that lower courts have the job of applying and interpreting decisions made by the Supreme Court in the event of any ambiguities.
They also oppose the government plea for the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to be bypassed by the Supreme Court on defining the limits of immigration enforcement in the Presidential order, and that they should have to convince the Ninth Circuit if they want more power to exclude refugees and foreign nationals. The Trump administration argues that those requirements are not what the Supreme Court intended with its June 26 ruling.