Supreme Court rejects GOP-led states’ bid to defend Trump’s immigration plan

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal from several states led by Republicans who sought to intervene to defend the Trump-era immigration policy that the Biden administration had abandoned.

The court’s decision was of one sentence duration and only said that the states’ petition for review was “rejected as improvised.”

In a favorable opinion, Chief Justice John J. Roberts Jr. said. He said the case presented “a set of important questions.” But he added that a “horse’s nest” of procedural issues stood in the way of a clean solution to those questions.

Chief Justice Roberts stressed that the dismissal “should not be taken as a reflection of a view” about how questions should be answered, and suggested that the court resolve those questions in another context.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M.

The Trump-era policy at issue in the case modified the “public charge” rule, which allows officials to deny permanent legal status, also known as a green card, to immigrants who likely need public assistance. In the past, only large, ongoing financial assistance or long-term institutionalization was counted, and less than 1 percent of applicants were ineligible for public reasons.

The revised Trump administration rule expanded the criteria to include government programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and other “non-cash benefits that provide for basic needs such as housing or food” used in any 12 months in a 36-month period. Using two types of benefits in one month is counted as two months, and so on.

The policy has been challenged in lawsuits across the country, and several federal judges have banned it. But in January 2020, by 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court revived the policy while appeals were lodged.

After President Biden took office, his administration decided not to defend the policy in court. At the administration’s request, the Supreme Court dismissed a separate appeal that reached the judges, and lower federal courts took similar actions.

Relying on a national ruling against the policy from the federal court in Illinois and without following administrative law procedures, the Biden administration subsequently overturned the policy. (It has since begun the process of releasing its own version.)

Arizona and dozens of other states have sought to intervene in a case before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, to defend the Trump-era rule, saying the Biden administration’s actions amounted to legal skill designed to ensure it does not have a conclusive verdict on whether the old policy were legitimate. A divided three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals rejected the states’ request.

When judges heard arguments in February in the case, Arizona v. City and County of San Francisco, No. In 1775-20, they erred in the management approach and the reaction of the states.

“It really is a license for collusive action,” Chief Justice Roberts said of the administration’s strategy, which included accepting a court ruling against the policy and opposing states’ attempts to step in to defend it.

Judge Elena Kagan questioned the complex litigation strategy that states have used to try to revive the Trump administration’s policy. She said it was a “four-way bank strike,” apparently involving an attempt to intervene in the Ninth Circuit in hopes of overturning a ruling in federal court in Illinois so that states could file a new lawsuit in federal court in Washington.

In his supporting opinion on Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts continued to express skepticism about the Biden administration’s litigation strategy.

“These maneuvers raise a number of important questions,” he wrote. “What is most important is whether the actions of the government, it has been said, comply with the principles of administrative law.”

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