Roberts Votes w/ Liberals Again, Prevents Trump Asylum Ban

Denies president’s request to set aside rulings of a federal judge in San Francisco…

Roberts Votes w/ Liberals Again, Prevents Trump Asylum Ban

John Roberts/IMAGE: C-SPAN via YouTube

(David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times) WASHINGTON — A sharply divided Supreme Court on Friday turned down a Trump administration appeal that sought to immediately bar asylum claims from immigrants who cross the border illegally.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s four Democratic appointees in denying Trump’s request.

By a 5-4 vote, but without additional comment, the court said it had denied the president’s request to set aside the rulings of a federal judge in San Francisco who blocked Trump’s order from taking effect.

The action is a defeat for President Donald Trump’s solicitor general, Noel Francisco, who has repeatedly gone to the high court seeking relief from lower court rulings.


For apparently the first time, new Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh cast a dissenting vote.

He was joined by conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito and Neil M. Gorsuch.

Since 1980, federal law has permitted foreigners, including immigrants in the country illegally, to file a claim for asylum.

Last month, Trump issued a proclamation designed to bar such claims from any immigrant who did not go to an official port of entry.

Lawyers for the ACLU sued, and U.S. District Jon Tigar in San Francisco said Trump’s order conflicted with federal law and could not take effect.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision agreed.

Francisco appealed to the high court and said “the nationwide injunction is deeply flawed and should be stayed pending appeal.”

But the court’s order said the appeal in Trump vs. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant is denied.

Last month, after Trump characterized Tigar as an “Obama judge,” Roberts rebuked him.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” said Roberts, who was nominated to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2005. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

Trump responded, of course, in a subsequent tweet:

“Please study the numbers, they are shocking,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet. “We need protection and security—these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!”

Roberts also is remembered less-than-fondly for his critical vote holding up Obamacare as constitutional law, claiming the financial penalty imposed upon individuals who do not sign up for health insurance is a tax.

©2018 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Liberty Headlines editor Paul Chesser contributed.