Biden administration asks justices to take immigration instances off February calendar

border wall with surveillance tower in background


By Amy Howe

at 11:55 pm

A section of the wall on the border between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California. The crosses represent immigrants who died trying to cross the border. (Tomas Castelazo via Wikimedia Commons)

An already thin calendar of arguments for February will likely become even easier before the February 22 session begins. Acting attorney general Elizabeth Prelogar on Monday asked the Supreme Court to remove two cases scheduled for argument during the February session from the policy that President Joe Biden announced on his first day in office.

Biden versus Sierra Club, the dispute over the financing of the border wall of former President Donald Trump, is currently to be negotiated on February 22nd. In a six-page filing, Prelogar told judges that on Jan. 20, Biden issued a proclamation calling for additional taxpayers’ money to be used to build the wall and instructing the Defense and Homeland Security Secretaries to cease construction.

The judges are currently scheduled to hold a hearing in Pekoske v. Innovation Law Lab on March 1, challenging the Trump administration’s policy to remain in Mexico, which enabled the Department of Homeland Security to oblige non-Mexican immigrants to Applying for asylum southern border to stay in Mexico while awaiting US hearings. Prelogar told judges on Monday that the incumbent Minister of Homeland Security, David Pekoske, issued a memorandum on January 20 ending the admission of new immigrants to the “Stay in Mexico” program.

Lower courts ruled against the Trump administration in legal proceedings in which both the construction of the border wall and the asylum program were challenged. However, the Supreme Court allowed both policies to remain in effect pending the Trump administration appeals.

Biden’s policy reversals can now put both cases up for discussion. In light of developments in both cases, Prelogar asked the judges to postpone the meeting schedule and suspend the oral presentation. In both cases, the groups that challenged the guidelines agreed to their requests.

There is no specific schedule for the judges to respond to Prelogar’s inquiries, but they will likely act quickly as the government response in the Sierra Club case is due on February 11, followed by the response in the Innovation Law Lab on February 11th February 16.

This article was originally published by Howe on the Court.