Huge Cases Awaiting the Supreme Court

  • The 5 biggest Supreme Court cases awaiting rulings
  • Kennedy v. Bremerton School District
    • High school football coach Joseph Kennedy lost his job after he insisted on reciting post-game prayers on the 50-year-line, despite his employer, the Bremerton School District, instructing him to stop.
  • Biden v. Texas
    • This case centers on the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy under which migrants seeking asylum in the US had to Stay in Mexico.
    • The crux of the case is whether the federal government can use discretion in carrying out the program or if, as Texas and Missouri are arguing in their lawsuit, the policy is needed to comply with federal law that says migrants cannot be released into the U.S. because the country lacks resources to detain everyone.
  • New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen
    • In possibly the biggest Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court in more than a decade, the justices are poised to decide whether New York’s process for obtaining a license to carry a concealed handgun is overly restrictive. The current rules require applicants to show “proper cause” for why they need to carry a firearm, and the government can exercise discretion in determining whether someone has satisfied that requirement. The result is that it is extremely difficult to obtain a license.
  • West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency
    • At issue is whether the Environmental Protection Agency has the power to issue sweeping rules that could overhaul industry practices and the country’s electricity grids to address climate change.
  • Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
    • The case came about after Mississippi passed a law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, blatantly going against the standard set by Roe that prohibited bans prior to fetal viability – understood to be at about 23 weeks. The ensuing litigation now puts the Supreme Court in a position to review whether a pre-viability ban should be allowed
    • The anticipation for a ruling in this case has already led to protests outside the Supreme Court and the homes of several justices, as well as an attempted murder charge against a man who allegedly plotted to kill Justice Kavanaugh

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U.S. prepares to resume Trump ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy in November

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s administration is taking steps to restart by mid-November a program begun under his predecessor Donald Trump that forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court hearings after a federal court deemed the termination of the program unjustified, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The administration, however, is planning to make another attempt to rescind the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly called the “Remain in Mexico” policy, even as it takes steps to comply with the August ruling by Texas-based U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, the officials said.

The possible reinstatement of MPP – even on a short-term basis – would add to a confusing mix of U.S. policies in place at the Mexican border, where crossings into the United States have reached 20-year highs in recent months. The administration said it can only move forward if Mexico agrees. Officials from both countries said they are discussing the matter.

Mexico’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday that it has expressed a “number of concerns” over MPP to U.S. officials, particularly around due process, legal certainty, access to legal aid and the safety of migrants. A senior Mexican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “there is no decision at this point” about the program’s restart.

Trump, a Republican known for hardline immigration policies, created the MPP policy in 2019, arguing that many asylum claims were fraudulent and applicants allowed into the United States might end up staying illegally if they skipped court hearings. Biden, a Democrat, ended the policy soon after taking office in January as part of his pledge to take a more humane approach to border issues.

Immigration advocates have said the program exposed migrants to violence and kidnappings in dangerous border cities where people camped out for months or years in shelters or on the street waiting for U.S. asylum hearings.

Biden in March said that “I make no apology” for ending MPP, a policy he described as sending people to the “edge of the Rio Grande in a muddy circumstance with not enough to eat.”

After the Republican-led states of Texas and Missouri sued Biden over his decision to end the program, Kacsmaryk ruled in August that it must be reinstated. The U.S. Supreme Court, whose 6-3 conservative majority includes three justices appointed by Trump, subsequently let Kacsmaryk’s ruling stand, rejecting a bid by Biden’s administration to block it.

The administration has said it will comply with Kacsmaryk’s ruling “in good faith” while continuing its appeal in the case. The administration also plans to issue a fresh memo to terminate the program in the hopes it will resolve any legal concerns surrounding the previous one, officials said.

“Re-implementation is not something that the administration has wanted to do,” a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in a call with reporters. “But in the interim we are under this obligation of the court.”

In a court filing late on Thursday the administration said that “although MPP is not yet operational,” they are taking all the steps necessary to re-implement it by next month.

Those steps include preparing courts, some housed in tents, near the border where asylum hearings could be held. The administration said in the filing that these facilities will take about 30 days to build, costing approximately $14.1 million to erect and $10.5 million per month to operate.

The filing said the aim is for MPP to span the entire Southwestern border, which the government deemed preferable to it operating only in certain areas.

At the same time, Biden has left in place another policy that Trump implemented in March 2020 early in the COVID-19 pandemic that allows for most migrants caught crossing the border to be rapidly expelled for public health reasons, with no type of asylum screening. One DHS official said that policy will continue.

Mexico has also expressed its concern over this policy, known as Title 42, which the foreign ministry said incentivizes repeat crossings and puts migrants at risk.

In a win for Mexico on a separate front, the United States said this week it will lift restrictions at its legal ports of entry for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending curbs on nonessential travelers during the pandemic.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York and Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Will Dunham and Jonathan Oatis)

Mexico to discuss U.S. court ruling on migrants with Washington

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico said on Wednesday it will discuss with Washington a U.S. Supreme Court order to uphold an immigration policy implemented under former President Donald Trump that forced thousands of asylum seekers to stay in Mexico to await U.S. hearings.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied U.S. President Joe Biden’s bid to rescind Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols program. Mexican officials have privately expressed concern that the policy could strain Mexico’s ability to absorb more migrants.

Biden’s ending of the policy was his first major step in dismantling Trump-era immigration actions after he took office in January pledging to implement a more humane approach to dealing with mass migration.

In a statement on Twitter overnight, Roberto Velasco, a senior official in the Mexican foreign ministry responsible for North American relations, said the U.S. government had been in touch with Mexico over the Supreme Court decision.

“Mexico isn’t part of the judicial process, which is a unilateral measure by the United States,” Velasco said.

Velasco added that on Wednesday the two countries “will exchange information” to determine what steps Mexico will take “based on the respect of sovereignty and human rights.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday that the foreign ministry would hold a news conference on the matter later in the day.

In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration’s effort to block a Texas-based judge’s ruling requiring the government to revive the policy. The brief order by the justices means that U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling now goes into effect.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that it regretted the Supreme Court’s decision and would continue to “vigorously challenge” the judge’s ruling.

Arrests of migrants caught trying to cross the U.S. border with Mexico have reached 20-year highs in recent months.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Will Dunham)