In yet another win for the president in his court battles over immigration law, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday issued a temporary injunction against a lower court ruling that would have dramatically loosened restrictions on refugees.
The ruling gives the full court “more time to consider the Justice Department’s challenge filed on Monday to the lower court’s decision allowing entry to refugees from around the world if they had a formal offer from a resettlement agency,” Reuters reported. “The full Supreme Court could act within days.”
The ruling in question came from the liberal-leaning 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a favorite venue for opponents of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Back in February, that court also issued an injunction against the president’s first executive order on immigration, as well as the revised version issued in March. That ruling was later partially overturned by the Supreme Court, which ruled that the ban could go forward provided the individuals being banned didn’t have a “bona fide” relationship in some way with the United States.
In the case Kennedy acted on on Monday, according to CNN, the 9th Circuit had ruled last week that individuals who had contractual commitments from organizations in the United States for resettleent or were extended relatives of individuals legally in the country were both exempt from the travel ban.
While the Justice Department decided not to appeal the part of the ruling that dealt with extended relatives, it appealed the 9th Circuit’s decision on refugees, which would have allowed up to 24,000 individuals into the United States. Kennedy’s injunction means that the ruling, which would have gone into effect on Tuesday, won’t go into effect until the full court hears the case.
However, The New York Times notes that Kennedy’s administrative stay might last only a few days, until the full court hears the case. According to CBS, Kennedy ordered the challengers to Trump’s ban to submit written arguments supporting the 9th Circuit’s ruling by mid-day Tuesday.
Meanwhile, oral arguments are scheduled to begin before the Supreme Court on Oct. 10 to determine the wider issue — whether the president has the authority to issue such a ban under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
However, the fact that Justice Kennedy is issuing this injunction against the lower court decision is a positive sign for Trump supporters. Kennedy is considered one of the few true swing votes left on the court, one who usually decides which way 5-4 rulings go.
The fact that he thought the 9th Circuit ruling deserved to be stayed certainly is a pretty good sign that the full court’s final ruling won’t be a slam-dunk for the left.
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H/T The Right Scoop