Judge grants Trump admin request to put asylum ban lawsuit on hold during shutdown

A federal district court judge on Monday agreed to put a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s new asylum restrictions on hold during the government shutdown.

Judge Randolph Moss, an Obama appointee on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, granted the Trump administration’s request to stay all briefing deadlines in the case.

The administration explained to the court in a filing last month that the Department of Justice is included in the partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22.


“Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys and employees of the federal Defendants are prohibited from working, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances, including ‘emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,’ ” the administration told Moss in the Dec. 26 filing.

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Moss ordered the administration to notify the court immediately if the 9th Circuit order blocking the restrictions nationwide is lifted or modified in any way, as well as if the administration files anything in another court related to this issue.

Moss said the administration should also notify the court if appropriated funds are expended with respect to the rulemaking process.

The decision comes in the lawsuit that immigrant rights groups brought challenging the regulations and presidential proclamation through which the Trump administration suspended the entry of all persons entering the U.S. across the southern border if they are outside of a legal port of entry.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction on Dec. 12 blocking the administration's new policies.