Thomas Gallatin / Sep. 12, 2019

SCOTUS Backs Trump on Asylum Rule

A ruling against nationwide injunctions that have hampered Trump's immigration policy.

President Donald Trump was handed a big win by the Supreme Court on Wednesday when the justices terminated all nationwide injunctions that prevented the administration from enforcing its new asylum rule. The rule in question bans asylum requests from individuals who crossed an adjacent country to the U.S. without having first sought asylum in the adjacent country.

The rule was added as a temporary measure, explained acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, to “reduce a major pull factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey.”

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar’s nationwide injunction against Trump’s asylum rule could only apply to the region of the Ninth Circuit, not the entire nation. However, the next day Judge Tigar, a Barack Obama appointee, reissued his nationwide injunction arguing that it was necessary to “maintain uniform immigration policy.”

It’s important to note that SCOTUS’s ruling was not on the merits of Trump’s asylum rule; rather it was over the legality of a district judge’s authority to issue nationwide injunctions. The case now returns to the Ninth Circuit, which is less of a bad thing than it used to be. That court has received quite the facelift since Trump’s election. As Fox News reports, “The San Francisco-based appellate court has seven Trump-appointed federal judges — more than any other federal appellate bench. The radical transformation of the court, which has 29 seats, is largely the result of Trump’s push to nominate conservative judges and bypass traditional consultations with Senate Democrats. Thirteen of the 29 seats are now occupied by GOP-appointed judges. Last year, that number stood at six.”

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