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Judges dismiss Trump-era immigration case, in Biden victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was wrong to jump into a dispute involving a Trump-era immigration rule the Biden administration scrapped, so the justices threw out the law. affair.

The court said it would answer the question of whether Republican-run states, led by Arizona, could take legal defense of the Trump-era ‘public charge’ rule that denied green cards immigrants who use food stamps or other public benefits. .

The high court heard arguments in the case in February and appeared on track to decide. But in an unsigned one-sentence notice on Wednesday, the court said it was dismissing the case. That leaves in place a lower court ruling in favor of the Biden administration that states could not intervene.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote separately to say he agreed with the decision to dismiss the case. Roberts said “related” in the case are “a lot of issues beyond” the issue the court had agreed to decide. “It has become clear that this mare’s nest could prevent ‘decision of the case’ or, at the very least, complicate our resolution of this matter,” he wrote.

Roberts said the court’s action should not be seen as “reflecting … the proper resolution of other litigation, pending or future, related to the 2019 public charge rule, its repeal or its replacement with a new rule. “.

Roberts was joined by three other justices from the court’s conservative majority: Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch was appointed to the court by Trump. The former president’s two other nominees, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Amy Coney Barrett, said nothing.

At the center of the case was a federal law stipulating that green card applicants cannot be burdens to the country or “public charges.” The Trump administration has significantly expanded the definition, saying that using public benefits, including food stamps or Medicaid, could be disqualifying. This led to legal challenges, but the Supreme Court allowed the policy to take effect while those continued.

The Biden administration rescinded the rule and has since announced new guidelines. The administration had said that in practice the government had denied green cards to just three people under Trump’s rule and their applications were later reopened and approved. Immigration groups said the rule’s biggest impact was scaring immigrants, forcing them to drop benefits or not enroll for fear it would affect their applications for lawful permanent residence.

Besides Arizona, the states involved in the case were Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

In a statement, Brittni Thomason, spokesperson for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, said: “Our coalition of states will assess how best to continue this important fight.”

The case is State of Arizona v. City and County of San Francisco, California, 20-1775.

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Post expires at 9:10pm on Sunday June 26th, 2022