President Donald Trump’s White House is denouncing the federal courts’ willingness to let local judges shut down government policies nationwide at the request of far-left groups.
“The tyranny of a dysfunctional system that permits plaintiffs to forum shop in order to find a single district [federal] judge who will purport to dictate immigration policy to the entire Nation … must come to an end,” the statement said.
The statement is part of the administration’s effort to pressure the judicial establishment’s policy of allowing “Temporary Restraining Orders” by lower-level district judges to govern national policy for the many months or even years before the Supreme Court accepts or rejects the district judges’ claims.
Since early 2017, progressive and pro-migration groups have been using this establishment’s TRO policy to delay, stigmatize, and block many popular and pro-American policies which were endorsed by American voters in the 2016 presidential election. For example, a single district judge in Oakland, California, is also blocking the use of emergency funds to block construction of a border wall.
The White House statement was issued after a district judge in California blocked the administration’s policy of denying asylum to migrants who refuse to ask for asylum in Mexico or other safe countries which they cross during their trek to the U.S. border.
The policy “purports to offer asylum seekers a safe and effective alternative via other countries’ refugee processes .. [and is] likely invalid because it is inconsistent with the existing asylum laws,” said Judge Jon Tigar, from the Northern District of California. His ruling will likely be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Until the 9th Circuit or the Supreme Court reverse Judge Tigar’s preliminary injunction, the Trump administration’s attempt to gut asylum protections while doing an end-run around Congress has been stopped,” Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, an advocate with the American Immigration Council, told Roll Call.
In November, Tigar also blocked a partial reform of the asylum rules which denied the right to apply for full asylum for migrants who request asylum only after getting caught sneaking over the border. Tigar was nominated by former President Barack Obama.
In November, the Supreme Court declined a White House request to immediately override Tigar’s temporary block, and Chief Justice John Roberts pushed back against Trump’s public criticism of Tigar as an “Obama judge. ”
Trump quicky responded to Roberts:
Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have “Obama judges,” and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary,” but if it is why……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2018
On Thursday, the White House’s response to Tigar’s new asylum decision said:
Yesterday evening, a single district judge in California, based on a complaint filed by a few activist groups with no legal standing, issued a nationwide injunction against a lawful and necessary rule that discourages abuse of our asylum system, and did so despite a ruling from another Federal judge earlier in the day rejecting the same request by other plaintiffs, and suggesting that the Government was likely to prevail against challenges to the rule.
Congress authorized the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to establish categorical limitations on eligibility for asylum, and this rule properly used that authority to encourage migrants to seek asylum in other countries they have traveled through before reaching the United States.
The tyranny of a dysfunctional system that permits plaintiffs to forum shop in order to find a single district judge who will purport to dictate immigration policy to the entire Nation – even in the face of a contrary ruling by another Federal court – must come to an end. We intend to pursue all available options to address this meritless ruling and to defend this Nation’s borders.
The message matched a tweet from Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: “Bad decision out of California yesterday. Fully support @realdonaldtrump decision to pursue all available options to address the meritless ruling and to defend this Nation’s borders!”
The California lawsuit was launched by several pro-migration groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The lawsuit is East Bay Sanctuary Covenant vs. William Barr, Case No. 19-cv-04073-JST, in the U.S. District of the Northern District of California.