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“A Rogue Judiciary That is Political, Extreme and Unaccountable”

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America’s Voice Reacts to SCOTUS Immigration Enforcement Ruling

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Biden Administration and the executive branch’s ability to set priorities to target immigration enforcement resources against public safety threats, because the Government of Texas and other red states object. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court sided with Texas Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump judge who evidently believes, with the assent of the Supreme Court, his word is more important than the votes of 81 million Americans who put President Biden and his Cabinet in office.

Leading legal observers were quick to capture why the ruling is a radical departure from law, precedent and common sense, including:

  • Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council, who noted: “Absolutely nonsensical. Every presidential administration in history has had immigration enforcement priorities. When Congress created DHS in 2003 it legally mandated that the DHS secretary set such priorities. Now a 5-4 SCOTUS has let a single judge in Texas overrule Mayorkas.”
  • Mark Joseph Stern, legal writer for Slate, who wrote: “A lone Trump judge in Texas gets to throw DHS into chaos by issuing a nationwide order that nullifies the executive branch’s authority to set immigration priorities, something presidents have done forever. It’s just so brazenly lawless and partisan.”
  • Vox legal reporter Ian Millhiser, who tweeted: “Congratulations to Trump Judge Drew Tipton on being appointed Secretary of Homeland Security!”

The following is a statement from David Leopold, Legal Advisor to America’s Voice, past president, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Immigration Group Leader, Ulmer & Berne LLP:

“Established precedent and the laws on the books do not seem to matter in the face of a partisan, unaccountable judiciary spurred on by conservative state leaders in Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere. Congress enacted a law requiring the executive branch to set immigration enforcement priorities and the Biden administration’s approach to focus resources against public safety threats is a common sense approach for using what had previously been long-settled executive branch powers. But as yesterday’s ruling reminds us, this is not really about policy or precedent. It’s about a rogue judiciary that is political, extreme and unaccountable.

Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court are upholding radical rulings from Republican-appointed judges in lower courts, like Texas Judge Drew Tipton. In concert with the right wing state officials who are filing suit in the first place, the Republican anti-immigrant judicial pipeline is bypassing the will of the majority of the American people as part of the GOP’s larger, radical countermajoritarian project.

Unless changes are made to the judiciary – such as expansion of the Supreme Court, a serious effort to appoint competent judges at all levels and other needed reform ideas – the anti-immigrant pipeline will keep consuming other progressive policies, unravel the rule of law, and block the popular will of the American majority.”