A California Federal court ruled that the US Government could not require asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their claims were considered. But the 9th Circuit court of appeals has just stepped in and given the Trump administration a partial victory.
The rule was instituted to take the pressure off both Federal, local, and even civilian resources attempting to manage what amounts to an illegal alien invasion. It required asylum seekers to apply in at least one of the countries they had to cross before reaching the southern US border. It also allowed the US to refuse entry until the request had been received and processed.
Mexico and Guatemala, according to some reports, are willing to help the US with this. But so-called immigrants’ rights groups sued, and a California Federal court blocked the Administration’s rule nationwide.
“The district court clearly erred by failing to consider whether nationwide relief is necessary to remedy Plaintiffs’ alleged harms,” the ruling says. “And, based on the limited record before us, we do not believe a nationwide injunction is justified.”
So, according to the 9th Circus, the lower court did not have the authority to block the rule for the entire nation. It could only block the rule in the state’s over which it has jurisdiction which includes California and Arizona. Which, coincidentally, are the only two border states over which the 9th has jurisdiction.
And while I am interested in border security my attraction to this story is less about the Rule itself and more about jurisdiction. For as long as I’ve been paying attention, one federal judge in any podunk corner the country has been able to block rules and regulations for the entire nation. Not just their juridical corner.
Judge shopping for any issue allows an individual or small group to intervene in nearly anything it can get before the right judge. I’m not clear on where such precedent came from, but there is interest in SCOTUS taking a swing at this problem.
Only the nine unelected lawyers in DC have that Constitutional authority limited to addressing action that violates the US Constitution. They do not, nor do these lower courts, have any law-making power despite their persistent efforts to the contrary.
Limiting Circuit courts and lower federal court influence would be a step in the right direction in addressing that. Whether any of us will live to witness such a change remains to be seen.