Sotomayor dissents: Trump asylum ban comes when stakes 'could not be higher'

Justice Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorSupreme Court agrees to review Texas's 6-week abortion ban The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle Sotomayor says recent changes were made because male justices interrupted female colleagues MORE on Wednesday took issue with the Trump administration's tendency to turn to the Supreme Court for relief from lower court injunctions.

Sotomayor and fellow liberal Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgKatie Couric: CNN shouldn't have let Chris Cuomo 'yuk it up' with brother Andrew during pandemic Katie Couric dismisses early coverage of book as 'strange, willful misinterpretation' Katie Couric says she felt 'betrayed' by Lauer after sexual assault allegations MORE were the lone two judges who dissented in the issuing of the stay of a nationwide injunction of a Trump administration rule that would drastically cut down on the number of people who could seek asylum in the U.S.


The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved President Trump's request to allow the administration to fully enforce the rule.

"Unfortunately, it appears the Government has treated this exceptional mechanism as a new normal," Sotomayor wrote in her dissenting opinion. "Historically, the Government has made this kind of request rarely; now it does so reflexively."

Sotomayor wrote that the court's ruling "sidesteps the ordinary judicial process to allow the Government to implement a rule that bypassed the ordinary rulemaking process."

She raised further raised concerns that the asylum rule undoes decades of U.S. policy toward refugees.

"Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution," she wrote. "Although this Nation has long kept its doors open to refugees—and although the stakes for asylum seekers could not be higher—the Government implemented its rule without first providing the public notice and inviting the public input generally required by law."

The Supreme Court's ruling allows the Trump administration to block most Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the United States. 

The policy would make most asylum-seekers who pass through another country before reaching the U.S. ineligible for asylum, with exceptions for victims of trafficking and migrants who have been denied asylum in the countries they traveled through.

The court ruled that the measure could proceed as litigation brought by immigrant advocacy groups plays out.

A U.S. District Court Judge on Monday reimposed a nationwide injunction blocking the implementation of the policy.