Supreme Court Strikes Again

On 3/11/2020, the United States Supreme Court entered an order “staying” the earlier ruling of the Ninth Court of Appeals in San Francisco which had stopped the enforcement of Trump’s “wait in Mexico” policy.  This ruling does not mean the case is over.  The appeal will go on.  However, it does mean that while the appeal proceeds, Trump can force refugees seeking asylum who passed through Mexico on their way to the U.S. to wait in Mexico to be processed.  It is estimated that 60,000 or so refugees are now waiting in camps in Mexico.


It is very difficult to keep track of all Trump’s rules and policies, the lawsuits that are filed, the lower court rulings, the status of appeals and Supreme Court action.  Adam Liptak is a writer for The New York Times that covers legal affairs, particularly the Supreme Court.  Mr. Liptak is a reliable and insightful reporter on legal issues.  On March 12, 2020, Mr. Liptak and Zolan Kanno-Youngs authored a story, “Supreme Court Revives “Remain in Mexico’ Policy for Asylum Seekers”, which does a great job of summarizing the legal status of the many cases involving Trump’s anti-immigration policies. 

I have been to the refugee camp in Matamoros.  These pitiful  refugees are suffering while they wait and it is needless suffering.  Actually, it is more than needless, it is suffering intentionally inflicted for the purpose of deterrence.  We can and we should do better.

It seems likely to me that Trump will eventually get most, if not all, of what he wants from “his” Supreme Court.  I strongly suspect that the Court will ultimately say in some flowery, highfalutin’ legalese that a president has great power and wide discretion in matters of immigration and immigration enforcement, and that this is a political question which cannot be constitutionally resolved by the Supreme Court without encroaching upon the powers set aside to Congress and the president.  But, no matter how they legally justify getting there, I feel we are reaching a crescendo on immigration.  The only check on Trump’s power and, therefore, check on his cruelty, will be the voters.