Sunday, October 6, 2019

Supreme Court Is Key After Trump’s String of Losses in Lower Courts

Photo: Eric baradat/AFP/Getty Images
Lower courts have blocked president from enforcing initiatives, including rollbacks of Obama-era rules
Donald Trump’s presidency has faced considerable setbacks in the courts, with judges blocking administration actions on immigration, the environment and health care. But the president’s fortunes have begun to improve with help from the Supreme Court, and a crucial set of proceedings lies ahead.
This year, the country’s highest court granted interim victories to the Trump administration on several hot-button issues after the Justice Department filed emergency appeals challenging lower-court injunctions that had impeded White House plans. The decisions allowed the administration to implement its plans while litigation continues, which in some cases could run through the 2020 presidential election.
The Supreme Court’s actions also have hinted at a tug of war within the judiciary, with justices more willing than some lower courts to grant the White House some latitude.
In January, the justices allowed the administration to implement restrictions on military service by transgender individuals, and in July they greenlighted building sections of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border with funds not approved by Congress. Those votes were 5-4, with the court’s conservative majority, solidified by Trump appointees Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, carrying the day.
In September, the justices allowed the administration to enforce, on an interim basis until the underlying case is decided, a policy that largely prevents Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. Only two justices dissented.
“Trump can claim victory because what he cares about is between now and next November,” said William & Mary law professor Neal Devins.
The coming year could determine the fate of several Trump initiatives.
In November, the Supreme Court will consider the cancellation of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which offered benefits to illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Several lower-court judges have ruled against the administration, including U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington, D.C., a George W. Bush appointee, who said the administration had offered “meager legal reasoning” for wanting to end DACA. The administration has said it believed DACA was an illegal power grab by Mr. Obama.
Also looming is another showdown over the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. The administration still enforces the law, but is backing an effort by Republican-led states to invalidate it, as a Texas judge did in December. The case could land in the Supreme Court next year.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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