The Supreme Court on Friday denied the Trump administration’s request that it be allowed to enforce an asylum ban on migrants who enter the country illegally.
Four justices, including Samuel Alito Jr., Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas, sided with the president.
The request came after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the administration’s request to strike down a lower judge’s order to block the ban.
“Just as we may not, as we are often reminded, ‘legislate from the bench,’ neither may the Executive legislate from the Oval Office,” Judge Jay Bybee, a President George W. Bush appointee, wrote for the majority in the earlier ruling.
The administration called the appeals court’s order “deeply flawed.”
“The nationwide injunction prohibits the executive branch from implementing an interim final rule adopted to address an ongoing crisis at the southern border, with significant implications for ongoing diplomatic negotiations and foreign relations,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote.
The Supreme Court rebuff means the asylum ban cannot be enforced while the administration appeals a lower court ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In November, Trump signed a proclamation saying only migrants who present themselves to official ports of entry along the Southwest border can claim asylum. Migrants who cross illegally, he said, would be held until deportation.
Administration officials said Trump had the authority to institute the new rule in the same way he had authority to implement a travel ban to people from majority Muslim countries. U.S. law, though, says the government must accept all asylum claims.
Immigration advocates, though, sued the Trump administration over the rules, saying they are illegal and put people’s lives in danger.
U.S. District Court Judge Jon S. Tigar of the Northern District of California agreed, implementing a temporary restraining order on the ban, an order the 9th Circuit upheld.
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