Thursday, June 30, 2022
Today, in the very last decision of the 2021 Term, the Supreme Court decided the Remain in Mexico Policy case, Biden v. Texas. Here is the opinion.
The issue in Biden v. Texas was whether the Biden administration could dismantle the Trump administration's Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or Remain in Mexico policy, which requires asylum seekers arriving at the U.S./Mexico border to be returned to Mexico while their claims were being processed. The MPP had come under critical scrutiny and immigrant advocates pushed for its elimination. As the Council on Foreign Relations put it, "[c]ritics say the program is inhumane and that it violates U.S. and international law, but courts have blocked President Joe Biden’s attempts to end it."
Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion for the Court and was joined by Justices Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Kavanaugh. The Court held that the Biden administration's decision to terminate the MPP did not violate federal immigration law, and the administration had taken the final agency action that ended the program. Justice Kavanaugh filed a concurring opinion. There were two dissents, one by Justice Alito and one by Justice Barrett, which Justice Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch joined all but the first sentence (" I agree with the Court’s analysis of the merits—but not with its decision to reach them.").
Check for updates with analysis of the opinion in Biden v. Texas.
UPDATE (June 30, 2:30 P.M. PST): Amy Howe analyzes the decision for SCOTUSBlog here. She sees it as "hand[ing] the Biden administration a major victory, giving it the green light to end one of the Trump administration’s signature immigration programs." Here is my take on Biden v. Texas.
UPDATE (July 2): Jonathan Blitzer in the New Yorker offers a nice summary of the litigation and the "surprise" at the outcome of Biden v. Texas.
UPDATE (July 7): Peter Margulies analyzes Biden v. United States for Lawfare.