President Trump scored a major win Wednesday when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of his new asylum rules allowing them to take effect, pending government appeal of two decisions in the 9th Circuit Court.
The policy would deny asylum to migrants at the southern border who have not sought protection from another country en route to the United States.
The Trump administration can now refuse to consider asylum requests from anyone who failed to apply for it en route to the United States. The order means, for instance, that migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador cannot seek asylum in the United States if they didn’t first seek it in Mexico.
Trump celebrated the decision on Twitter, praising the “BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!”
BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum! https://t.co/9Ka00qK1Ob
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2019
Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented themselves from the brief order. No other justices announced their votes.
“The rule the government promulgated topples decades of settled asylum practices and affects some of the most vulnerable people in the Western Hemisphere – without affording the public a chance to weigh in,” Sotomayor wrote.
The policy, which was unveiled in July, was blocked from taking effect by District Judge Jon Tigar in California days later. Tigar sought to put a hold on the policy again on Monday, but the Supreme Court blocked both his decisions from taking effect until after the government has completed its appeals.
Attorney General William Barr condemned nationwide injunctions last week in an opinion piece, indicating that the Trump administration might be preparing to go after the practice before the Supreme Court. Barr argued that the novel practice by federal judges seeking to block lawful executive actions violated the constitutional separation of powers.
An unprecedented 40 injunctions have been issued since President Trump took office, more than twice as many as during the entire 20th century, Barr pointed out.
“What have these nationwide injunctions wrought?” Barr asked rhetorically. “The political process has been preempted, and we have had over a year of bitter political division that included a government shutdown of unprecedented length.”