The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco has 29 seats. Seven of those are filled by Trump appointees bringing the total of GOP appointed judges to thirteen. It appears that the Trump administration’s efforts to appoint conservative judges is starting to have some effect.
On Monday, District Court Judge Jon Tigar (Northern District of California), an Obama appointee, reinstated a nationwide ban on Trump’s Third Country Asylum rule. This policy prevents migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S. border unless they have already done so in Mexico or another third country. Prior to this, the Ninth Circuit had ruled that the preliminary injunction against this policy was only enforceable within the Ninth Circuit. My colleague Bonchie posted about this on Tuesday here.
On Tuesday, however, the Ninth Circuit issued an administrative order reversing Tigar’s nationwide ban. Yesterday’s order limits the ban to states over which the Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction. This includes California, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Guam, Oregon, and Washington.
Fox News reports:
Tigar first blocked the asylum policy in July after a lawsuit by groups that help asylum seekers. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals then partially limited the impact of Tigar’s injunction.
That meant the policy was blocked in the border states of California and Arizona but not in New Mexico and Texas.
In his ruling Monday, Tigar circled back, and stressed a “need to maintain uniform immigration policy” and found that nonprofit organizations such as Al Otro Lado don’t know where asylum seekers who enter the U.S. will end up living and making their case to remain in the country.
Tiger, citing new evidence, on Monday issued a second nationwide injunction.
“The court recognized there is grave danger facing asylum-seekers along the entire stretch of the southern border,” Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.
Tiger’s activism begs the question, should a highly partisan district court judge, an unelected federal official, have the power to set national immigration policy? Throughout Trump’s presidency, liberal judges have repeatedly acted to reverse his administration’s policies. These judges have more power than most elected officials do. This situation interferes with the President’s ability to govern and must be addressed by the Supreme Court.
Much to the left’s dismay, Trump’s policies are making a measurable difference. Despite the best efforts of the bleeding hearts, border apprehensions in August were down 56% to 64,000 from their peak in May when they reached 144,000.
Are you listening Justice Roberts?