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Supreme Court Tells Joe Biden Only Trump Can Do That
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Title 42, the Trump administration policy that allows for rapid deportation of most undocumented immigrants even before they can request asylum, will stay in place while the Court considers a lawsuit brought by Republican states. The Biden administration has been trying to wind down Title 42 for much of the year.
Most recently, the program was supposed to end on December 21, but then Arizona and 18 other red states sued to keep it in place. The Supremes poked their heads out of their burrows yesterday, saw Stephen Miller's shadow, and voila, we have six more months of Title 42 . The Court will hear arguments in the case in February, and isn't likely to change its order blocking the end of Title 42 until it issues a final decision in June, or ever.
As is his occasional wont, Neil Gorsuch voted with the three liberals on the Court to reject the states' appeal, but the other five Republican appointees voted to hear the case. The Court won't even be ruling on the constitutionality of Trump's use of Title 42 to exclude immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic that no Republicans take seriously.
Rather, the justices will be considering whether states can appeal a lower court's ruling that ordered the Biden administration to end the policy. Yes, the case really is about whether states can demand in federal court that a former president's executive orders must remain active two years into the succeeding presidency, on the principle that Republican presidents have nearly limitless executive authority while Democratic presidents must be reined in from abusing their power.
The request from the coalition of states for the Supreme Court to weigh in came after Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., ruled last month that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s use of the order — which removes migrants from the U.S. without allowing them to access the asylum process — is “arbitrary and capricious” and a violation of the law because it was not implemented properly.
Sullivan ordered the Biden administration to immediately lift Title 42, then later agreed to give the federal government until Dec. 21 to prepare for the change.
Sullivan’s ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in January 2021 by the ACLU and two Texas-based immigrant rights groups that argued Title 42 violated U.S. asylum laws and that the Trump administration used the pandemic as a pretext to invoke Title 42 and use it as an immigration tool.
But Republicans really like that pretext, so it must stay in effect forever because it's such a handy tool to turn back people who might otherwise qualify for asylum, which Republicans all know is never justified because there is no oppression anywhere in the world that the US needs to acknowledge, and asylum seekers are all universally lying. Please do not remind them of the unaccompanied minors who were deported to Honduras back in 2014 and ended up being murdered there. Crime is a shame but it's not political oppression, silly.
Gorsuch issued a dissent that may have too loudly acknowledged what's going on here, suggesting that the alleged legal issues in the case are pretextual, a matter of keeping out migrants for reasons other than the public health order the states are allegedly defending. He noted that the states “do not seriously dispute that the public-health justification undergirding the Title 42 orders has lapsed,” and added that while the border is a serious issue, "the current border crisis is not a COVID crisis." We'd add it's also not really much of a "crisis," either, but Gorsuch wouldn't go that far. He added that
[Courts] should not be in the business of perpetuating administrative edicts designed for one emergency only because elected officials have failed to address a different emergency. We are a court of law, not a policymaker of last resort.
So there's your rightwing judicial stopped clock moment for this week.
In any case, it looks like the cruelty is in place until at least June, by which time we'll be well into the 2024 election campaign and immigration will once again be too valuable an issue for Republicans to actually do anything about — apart from cruel stunts aimed at "calling attention" to the "crisis," of course.
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