Sunday, December 8, 2019
The Hill reports on an important ruling for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The Ninth Circuit late this week delivered a legal victory -- at least for now -- to the Trump administration, lifting an injunction blocking the proposed "public charge" rule.
In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth Circuit (in an opinion by Judge Jay Bybee joined by Judge Sandra Ikuta, with Judge John Owen dissenting) stayed two district court injunctions barring the implementation of the proposed public charge rule.
"An agency has broad discretion to administer the programs entrusted to it by Congress," wrote Judge Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee. "We are not the proper foil to this or any other administration as it crafts our immigration policies." "By constitutional design, the branch that is qualified to establish immigration policy and check any excesses in the implementation of that policy is Congress," he added.
The Ninth Circuit stay of the injunctions entered by district judges in California and Washington. The ruling does not extend to separate injunctions that federal judges in New York and Maryland. The national injunctions in those cases apply across the country.
Judge Bybee added a separate opinion to the panel's order. It is entitled "BYBEE, Circuit Judge, concurring, perplexed and perturbed". He concludes the opinion by putting the onus on Congress to address the nation's immigration issues:
"By constitutional design, the branch that is qualified to establish immigration policy and check any excesses in the implementation of that policy is Congress. See U.S. CONST. Art. I, § 8, cl. 4. And, so far as we can tell from our modest perch in the Ninth Circuit, Congress is no place to be found in these debates. We have seen case after case come through our courts, serious and earnest efforts, even as they are controversial, to address the nation’s immigration challenges. Yet we have seen little engagement and no actual legislation from Congress. It matters not to me as a judge whether Congress embraces or disapproves of the administration’s actions, but it is time for a feckless Congress to come to the table and grapple with these issues. Don’t leave the table and expect us to clean up."