(CN) – In a 5-4 decision Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stay a federal judge’s order blocking the Trump administration’s ban on asylum for people who entered the United States outside an official port of entry.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the court in denying the Justice Department’s request for a stay of U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar’s injunction pending appeal.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would have granted Trump’s stay request, according to the single-page order.
The order comes days after Tigar issued a preliminary injunction in the case, extending his initial block of the asylum restrictions created by presidential proclamation in November. The Ninth Circuit had affirmed Tigar’s temporary restraining order earlier this month, and Tigar said at a Dec. 19 hearing on the preliminary injunction the government had not presented any new evidence to change his mind.
“I’m unlikely to disagree with myself because I’ve already decided these questions,” Tigar said in court before following through on his tentative ruling.
Finding multiple reasons why the asylum ban is wrong, Tigar held it contradicts a law passed by Congress, the justification for it appears bogus, and the government failed to give 30 days notice and accept public comments before enacting it.
President Donald Trump has said the restrictions are necessary to address “the continuing and threatened mass migration of aliens with no basis for admission into the United States.”
Also this week, a federal judge in Washington blocked a separate Trump administration policy to deny asylum protections to people fleeing domestic violence and gang violence.