The United States Supreme Court has issued a ruling against a stay in a federal case involving attempts made by President Donald Trump’s administration to alter the laws surrounding how asylum cases are handled in the country.
According to a tweet from BuzzFeed News’ Chris Geidner, the Court ruled 5-4 against granting a stay in the case. Four conservative members of the Court (Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh) would have granted the stay.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the other four so-called liberal bloc justices to block the Trump administration’s request for a stay of a lower court order.
Roberts’ involvement in denying the stay is particularly interesting. The original federal court ruling, which was made by Judge Jon Tigar of the United States District Court in San Francisco, had issued a temporary restraining order on Trump’s immigration order, which would be put in place while the case moved forward, per reporting from the New York Times.
The restraining order means that the Trump administration cannot enforce the new rules on asylum, allowing immigrants in the meantime to continue applying for the status, whether they do so at the border or already living within the United States.
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“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Tigar said in his initial ruling.
The Trump administration immediately made an appeal to the Supreme Court to lift the order by Judge Tigar. One of the justifications for doing so, according to the president himself, was that Tigar was an appointment of Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
Trump had called Tigar an “Obama judge,” trying to imply that his ruling was not legitimate. Chief Justice John Roberts, who again, ruled against granting the stay, took issue with Trump’s statement and offered a sharp rebuke to the wording of the president’s complaint.
“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them,” Roberts said in response to the president’s words, according to reporting from Market Watch.
That prompted another rebuttal at the time from Trump. “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,” Trump wrote in a tweet on November 21.