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Supreme Court allows Trump asylum restrictions to take effect

FOX News logo FOX News 9/12/2019 Gregg Re

In a major win for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court issued an order late Wednesday ending a nationwide injunction that had blocked the White House's ban on asylum for anyone trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by transiting through a third country.

The order was not a final ruling on the merits, but allowed the policy to proceed while lower courts in the 9th Circuit address the case.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.

A group of people some of whom are coming from Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, and Guatemala, wait to turn themselves in at the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry bridge to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel for asylum consideration on January 13, 2019, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. © Joe Raedle/Getty Images/File A group of people some of whom are coming from Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, and Guatemala, wait to turn themselves in at the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry bridge to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel for asylum consideration on January 13, 2019, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

"Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution," Sotomayor and Ginsburg wrote.

On Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – long a liberal bastion that has been aggressively reshaped into a more moderate court by the Trump administration – handed the president a major win in the case by ruling that the nationwide injunction should be lifted.

The government also asked the Supreme Court to intervene on an emergency basis to settle the matter.

Related slideshow: Families separated at border (Provided by Photo Services)


TRUMP ADMIN ANNOUNCES MAJOR CRACKDOWN ON ASYLUM SEEKERS, CITING WIDESPREAD FRAUD

Earlier on Monday, Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in California had reinstated a nationwide halt on the Trump administration's plan to prevent most migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, if they first crossed through another country on the way.

But in an administrative order first obtained by Politico, the 9th Circuit rolled Tigar's ruling right back, saying that for now it should only apply to the confines of the 9th Circuit — which encompasses California, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Guam, Oregon and Washington.

Tigar first blocked the asylum policy in July after a lawsuit by groups that help asylum seekers. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals then partially limited the impact of Tigar's injunction.

In his now-overturned ruling Monday, Tigar circled back, and stressed a "need to maintain uniform immigration policy" and found that nonprofit organizations such as Al Otro Lado don't know where asylum seekers who enter the U.S. will end up living and making their case to remain in the country. Tiger, citing new evidence, on Monday issued a second nationwide injunction.

The Trump administration has reason for optimism now that the case is back in the 9th Circuit. 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.

"Thanks to Trump, the liberal 9th Circuit is no longer liberal," The Washington Post noted earlier this year.

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