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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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Trump is living in a ‘COVIDless la-la land’ — and can’t understand why he isn’t being taken seriously: CNN’s Cuomo

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Chris Cuomo slammed President Donald Trump for demanding people take him seriously as he ignores his own health experts and tries to override recommendations on school closures.

"Another day gone without the president deciding to lead us with a plan of action to fight the pandemic," said Cuomo. "Instead, we now know what he meant by pressuring states to reopen schools, ready or not, without ever offering them a plan to help. If they don't reopen, he will punish the poorest students. He said he's going to pull federal aid, and the kids that get most of that aid are the neediest. Many of them are white, by the way, and from families that may be Trumpers."

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There’s about to be another shortage in masks and gloves as COVID-19 explodes — but Trump’s team says it’s nothing: report

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After the United States erupted, COVID-19, masks, gowns and gloves started disappearing. It wasn't merely the medical professionals on the front lines that needed the personal protective equipment; Americans were hoping to get them too. Finally, more were made, but now the problem is back.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that there's about to be another shortage.

"Nurses say they are reusing N95 masks for days and even weeks at a time," said the Post. "Doctors say they can't reopen offices because they lack personal protective equipment (PPE). State officials say they have scoured the U.S. and international suppliers for PPE and struggle to get orders filled. Experts worry the problem could worsen as coronavirus infections climb, straining medical systems."

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‘He doesn’t care about those kids at all’: Anderson Cooper tears into Trump for pressuring schools to reopen

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On CNN Wednesday, Anderson Cooper blasted President Donald Trump's attempts to push schools to reopen without a plan to keep students safe.

"Today the president of the United States did something rare: he expressed a notion that we can all agree on, that kids belong in the classroom," said Cooper. "But then made it quite clear beyond what it means to himself and his re-election, he doesn't actually care about those kids at all. He doesn't care about their health and safety, nor the health of their teachers and parents, and federal guidelines for keeping them safe."

"The president bragged today about getting the CDC to change their guidelines to weaken them, and lo and behold, the CDC, which used to be a world-respected organization, they are going to come up with new guidelines, less difficult ones," said Cooper. "Just think about that. The CDC puts together guidelines based on science to protect kids and teachers, staying six feet apart and masks and having air flow in rooms and washing hands, and because the president thinks it's too difficult, the CDC is going to weaken them."

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