A federal appeals court panel on Wednesday ruled that unaccompanied minors being held in immigration detention centers have a right to bail hearings, striking a blow to the Justice Department.
Justice Department lawyers argued before a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel that the Department of Health and Human Services had been granted responsibility for unaccompanied immigrant minors under a 2002 law, as well as a 2008 law, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).
But the panel said that in passing those two measures, Congress never explicitly nullified or modified a 1997 settlement allowing for such bail hearings.
"We are confident that Congress’s failure to address bond hearings in the [Homeland Security Act] and TVPRA did not occur because Congress lacked the words to do so," Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the three-judge panel.
The Justice Department told Politico that it was weighing its next steps, which could include asking more judges on the 9th Circuit to consider the case — or go to the Supreme Court.
“The Justice Department is reviewing the court’s ruling and considering next steps in the litigation,” department spokeswoman Nicole Navas told Politico.
President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE proposed in April that he could break up the 9th Circuit, calling the court "outrageous" after it blocked his executive order temporarily barring citizens from certain predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.