Court orders additional briefing in ‘stay in Mexico’ policy dispute


Six days after hearing oral arguments in challenging the Biden administration’s efforts to overturn the “stay in Mexico” immigration policy, the Supreme Court on Monday called for more information. In a short timethe judges asked both sides in the dispute to rule on technical – but potentially decisive – issues relating to the court’s power to hear the case.

During the oral argument last week at Biden vs. Texas, the main issues before the judges were whether the government’s efforts to end the policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, complied with federal immigration law, and whether to require the Biden administration’s pursuit of the policy would interfere with the executive branch’s powers over foreign policy and immigration. But some justices — including Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — also questioned U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar about the administration’s argument, set out in a footnote to her opening brief, that a provision of the federal immigration law prevented lower courts from issuing an injunction in this case. Prelogar offered to submit an additional briefing on the matter, and on Monday the court accepted that offer.

The judges ordered the Biden administration and Texas and Missouri, the states challenging the decision to end the policy, to answer three questions. The first is whether 8 USC § 1252(f)(1), the federal immigration provision at issue, limits the relief that federal courts can award. The second is whether, if Section 1252(f)(1) does impose limitations, those limitations can be reversed if they are not lifted. And the third question is whether the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to consider the merits of the case.

The justices asked both sides to act quickly, ordering them to file initial briefs by Monday, May 9, with responding briefs to follow by Friday, May 13. The court’s decision in the case is expected by the summer.

This article has been originally published at Howe on the Court.


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