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Justice Sotomayor issues powerful dissent to the Supreme Court’s ‘extraordinary’ move unleashing Trump’s harsh asylum rules

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a forceful dissent issued Wednesday as the Supreme Court lifted an injunction on President Donald Trump’s aggressive new asylum rules.

In lifting the injunction, the court allowed the administration to broadly deny asylum to immigrants who passed through another country — such as Mexico — and weren’t denied asylum there. The Supreme Court didn’t rule on the merits, but it issued a stay overturning injunctions upheld by lower courts as legal challenges to the policy make their way through the system. Eventually, the case will likely come before the high court.

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It would only take five justices to grant the stay, but the unsigned order did not say how the court voted. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Sotomayor’s dissent.

“Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution,” wrote Sotomayor. “Although this Nation has long kept its doors open to refugees—and although the stakes for asylum seekers could not be higher—the Government implemented its rule without first providing the public notice and inviting the public input generally required by law.”

She bemoaned the fact that the court “acquiesces” to the Trump administration’s efforts to push forward with this move.

There are three reasons why the lower district court concluded that the rules were likely in violation of federal law and thus that an injunction was warranted, Sotomayor explained.

First, the court found that the new rules likely conflict with existing asylum law. Second, the Trump administration “skirted” the usual process for making new rules — by, for example, not allowing for a period of public comment. And third, the district court believed the Trump administration’s new rule was likely “arbitrary and capricious” because its arguments in favor of the policy are “flatly refuted” by the evidence.

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Lifting the injunction in such a case would be “extraordinary,” Sotomayor — and such requests used to be quite rare. Now, the Trump administration makes these demands on the court all the time, and the court plays along.

“It is especially concerning, moreover, that 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,” she wrote. “I fear that the Court’s precipitous action today risks undermining the interbranch governmental processes that encourage deliberation, public participation, and transparency.”

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‘They’re crushing us’: GOP House leaders in panic over Democratic fundraising

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On Tuesday, Politico's Jake Sherman reported that House GOP leadership expressed serious alarm about their prospects for reclaiming the majority in a closed-door strategy meeting at the Capitol Hill Club, citing disastrous fundraising numbers at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

"They're kicking our ass," said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who noted that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has outraised them by $40 million, and several individual Democratic House challengers are outraising GOP incumbents — not only dimming their hopes of taking back the House, but raising the possibility they could lose even more seats.

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BUSTED: These 10 GOP senators said Ukraine quid pro quo was a red line before Bolton bombshell

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The Washington Post's Philip Bump has tracked down statements from ten different Republican senators who in the past indicated that impeachment charges against President Donald Trump would be far more serious if it could be proven there was a quid-pro-quo agreement that involved exchanging the release of foreign aid to Ukraine for the investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.

All of the statements flagged by Bump came before this week's bombshell revelation that former national security adviser John Bolton's upcoming book will reportedly say the president directly linked Ukraine aid to the Biden investigation.

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Law professor slams Trump team’s ‘distortions of facts’ as they try to shoot down congressional subpoenas

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Writing for The Atlantic, University of Missouri Law professor Frank Bowman excoriated the White House legal team for their rationale against honoring congressional subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry.

"On Saturday, Trump’s lawyer Pat Philbin tried to extinguish any flickers of enlightened self-interest among Republicans by arguing that Trump was entitled to stonewall the House because the House hadn’t properly authorized its own subpoenas," wrote Bowman. "Like so many contentions of the president’s defenders, this is malarkey thinly draped with plausible-sounding distortions of facts, rules, court opinions, and the Constitution itself."

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