HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced it would partly reinstate President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, a decision the White House called a "victory", but one that Hawaii's attorney general is calling a "compromise."
"In a lot of ways this is a balance," Attorney General Doug Chin said in an interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise. "I think the practical effect is that all the people who are wanting to come into the country actually do have some sort of U.S. connection."
Monday's ruling states the government can now enforce a 90-day ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries; however, it cannot block people with a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States" from entering the country. The ban is set to go into effect 72 hours following the ruling.
"The good news for people who are here in Hawaii is that for our individual plaintiff Dr. Elshikh, his mother-in-law is not blocked by this travel ban at all, as well as for the University of Hawaii students who were admitted to join UH in the fall and all the faculty members who were concerned about whether they could travel back and forth," Chin said.
The first executive order was signed late January, banning citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, and it has received criticism ever since.
Chin initially asked the courts to ban the president's proposal.
Hawaii later became the first state to block the president's revised travel ban order. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Derrick Watson's ruling, and lawyers continue to make their pleas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Our biggest concern has always been that we just did not want some sort of executive order that blocks people solely because of their religion or national origin," Chin said. "I expected it to be a divided court and I'm still hopeful that we are able to get a majority of the Supreme Court to come up with a decision that is fair for the people of Hawaii."
Former Republican State Senator Sam Slom says the law is clear -- President Trump has the authority to issue the travel ban and more.
He says instead of wasting taxpayer money to sue the President, Hawaii leaders should instead focus their attention on the problems residents face here at home.
"What does that do for the people of Hawaii? What does that do to lower our cost of living? What does that do to make things better here? Not a thing," Slom said.
Justices are expected to hear the case in October.