In first SCOTUS vote, Jackson joins liberal justices and Barrett in opposing block on Biden immigration policy
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was one of four justices who would have reinstated a Biden administration immigration policy that prioritizes apprehension and deportation of people who pose a threat to national security. Photo from the Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday refused to reinstate a Biden administration immigration policy that prioritizes apprehension and deportation of people who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.
At the same time, the high court agreed to consider a challenge to the policy on the merits and set a December argument date.
Four justices would have reinstated the policy during litigation. They are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson. It was Jackson’s first vote since she joined the court last month.
U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton of the Southern District of Texas vacated the immigration guidelines in June. He said the policy was arbitrary and capricious, it was adopted without going through notice and comment procedures required by the Administrative Procedure Act, and it conflicted with federal law.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans kept Tipton’s decision in place during the litigation.
The Supreme Court directed the parties in the case to brief three issues: whether the states have standing to challenge the immigration guidelines, whether the guidelines are contrary to federal immigration law or whether they violate the Administrative Procedure Act, and whether federal courts have the power to set aside the guidelines.
Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, had submitted an amicus brief in the case arguing that Texas is engaging in a “deliberate strategy of judge-shopping” in the immigration case and others.
Vladeck said the state increasingly filed its challenges to Biden administration policies in federal court subdivisions consisting of one judge who is appointed by former President Donald Trump or other Republican presidents.
The case is United States v. Texas.