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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.

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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.

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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3 out of 9 companies in one state have filed for bankruptcy since Trump promised to ‘bring back coal’

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Donald Trump in coal hard hat thumbs up

President Donald Trump's promises to coal miners have fallen along with his other broken campaign promises. Another state is facing the harsh reality that Trump is not riding in on a white horse to save them.

According to Axios, three out of the nine coal companies in the Powder River Basin in northeastern Wyoming have filed for bankruptcy and another two companies are consolidating. Kentucky coal miners have been protesting Blackjewl, which filed for bankruptcy in July, withdrawing payroll dollars from miners' accounts. Little has been heard about the Wyoming workers as those companies crumble, however.

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Why you should sell your house now — and not wait for the climate to change

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Cities across the United States are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Sea levels are on the rise in Miami, Florida, where ocean waters creep into the streets, even when it isn't raining. Massive wildfires have taken out whole neighborhoods in California and in Alaska, about 2.5 million acres have burned since July 3. Wildfires there are getting worse, according to experts.

The problem of climate change has reached a dangerous level for some homeowners in areas that are no longer insurable. In Miami, for example, the "street-level" is now considered the basement and insurers are dropping coverage for basements. According to the Daily Beast, at least 340,000 California homeowners lost their property insurance coverage between 2015 and 2018 because the wildfires are getting worse and companies don't want to pay out when homes are destroyed.

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GOP lawmakers working behind the scenes with Democrats to curb Trump’s tariff madness

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According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Republican lawmakers are working behind the scenes to rein in Donald Trump's penchant for declaring tariffs willy-nilly depending on how he feels about other countries and their leaders at any given time.

As the president trade war rages on -- impacting manufacturers, farmers and consumers alike -- Republicans looking at the 2020 election are desperate to turn around a U.S. economy that looks headed for a recession.

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