The Supreme Court granted requests from the Biden administration to remove arguments in two cases (Mayorkas v. Innovation Law Lab and Biden v. Sierra Club) that questioned the legality of the “Remain in Mexico” program and Donald Trump’s national emergency border wall-building declaration. The conservative court might have upheld Trump’s policies had he remained in office, but will now most likely dismiss the cases.
- CBP awaits a decision from U.S. District Judge David Bury, as a seven-day trial wraps up over temporary holding conditions for migrants apprehended in the Tucson sector. The case arose from a lawsuit from a coalition of groups suing over miserable conditions in CBP custody despite an earlier injunction mandating minimal standards. CBP custody should not last more than 72 hours, but during fiscal year 2019, of 63,490 people apprehended in the Tucson Sector, one in five (12,030 total) was held longer than 72 hours.
- Texas-based U.S. District Judge Randy Crane lifts a restraining order against the construction of a segment of privately built border fencing in south Texas. The ruling follows a dispute involving Fisher Industries, a North Dakota-based construction firm that is one of the principal contractors for the Trump administration’s border wall construction. Fisher wants to install 3 miles of steel posts near the Rio Grande. Tommy Fisher, the company’s president and a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, says a crew will be ready to begin construction on January 12 and could install all of the posts in a week.
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) files an emergency motion asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to halt the Trump administration’s use of $3.6 billion in military construction funds for border wall construction in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. A day earlier, the 5th Circuit had allowed the funds transfer to proceed. The motion was filed on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition. It argues that the Trump administration’s claim of an urgent need for the funding was transparently false. California and eight other states support the ACLU’s request in a separate filing.
- The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals places a stay on a December 10 lower court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from using $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build the wall along the southern border. Those funds account for a third of about $10 billion the Trump administration had allocated for border construction though fiscal 2019, via budget appropriations and “emergency” transfers from the defense budget.