A US appeals court has rejected Hawaii's request to issue an emergency order blocking parts of President Donald Trump's travel ban while the state sought clarification over what groups of people would be barred from travel.
The US Supreme Court last month let the ban on travel from six Muslim countries go forward with a limited scope, saying it could not apply to anyone with a credible "bona fide relationship" with a US person or entity.
A Honolulu judge this week rejected Hawaii's request to clarify the Supreme Court ruling and narrow the government's implementation of the ban.
Hawaii appealed to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, saying in a filing that the appeals court has the power to narrow the travel ban while it decides how to interpret the Supreme Court's ruling.
On Friday, a three-judge 9th Circuit panel, however, rejected that argument and said it did not have jurisdiction to hear Hawaii's appeal.
Justice department lawyers have argued that its definition of close family "hews closely" to language found in US immigration law, while Hawaii's attorney general's office said other parts of immigration law include grandparents in that group.
Shortly after the Supreme Court issued its opinion last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Twitter it would "head back into court to fight the fundamentally unconstitutional Muslim ban this October".
Omar Jadwat, the director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project who had argued the case in court, said in a statement that the travel ban "violates the fundamental constitutional principle that government cannot favour or disfavour any one religion".
"Courts have repeatedly blocked this indefensible and discriminatory ban. The Supreme Court now has a chance to permanently strike it down," he said.
Lara Finkbeiner, from the International Refugee Assistance Project, which also sued the administration over the ban, said she was "incredibly disappointed with the decision".
"We are a nation that values acceptance and diversity, and in making this decision and putting this executive order back into effect, the Supreme Court is sending a very clear message and it's putting the executive's discriminatory policy back into effect."
Source: News agencies