A 9th Circuit panel wrestled with how to handle two immigration-related legal disputes that triggered howls of protest from the Trump administration after district court judges issued nationwide injunctions to enforce their rulings.
The suits — argued back-to-back in San Francisco before three judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — highlight the intense legal controversy that has erupted over the authority of individual judges to block U.S. government policies across the country.
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One of the disputes involves legal challenges to a Trump administration directive issued in July that denies asylum to applicants who traveled to the U.S. through a third country and did not seek asylum there.
The other appeal stems from suits the city of San Francisco and state of California filed against a Trump administration policy seeking to put new limits on certain law enforcement grants. The Justice Department insisted that applicants pledge full compliance with a federal law that purports to force cities and states to issue policies that allow their employees to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts.