Multiple civil rights groups filed suit today against the Trump administration, challenging its new rule seeking to severely limit the asylum protections that are available under US and international law to migrants at the US-Mexico border. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed one of the main legal challenges in California's Northern District Court on behalf of immigrant advocacy groups, alleging that the new rule violates US immigration law as well as administrative law. The lawsuit seeks declaratory relief stating that the interim final rule is invalid and unlawful, as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to block its implementation.
According to news reports, since May the federal government has filed four condemnation lawsuits against local residents in the Brownsville, Texas area for the purpose of constructing a border wall along the southern border of the US. Some residents, who have been informed that the government wants access to their property for purposes of surveying land that would be involved in border wall construction, are contesting the government's terms for use of their land.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has canceled the deportation of a worker who was arrested and detained in a 2008 immigration enforcement raid on a California factory, ruling that immigration authorities violated federal regulations and the Constitution when they conducted the raid without reasonable suspicion that the approximately 130 people they detained were in the country without authorization.
The State of California has filed a new lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that the Federal Railroad Administration's sudden decision to pull almost $1 billion in funding for a planned high-speed rail connection between San Francisco and Los Angeles was payback for the state's opposition to Trump's plans to construct a wall along the southern border of the US as part of his immigration policy. The state's lawsuit alleges that in the days following certain criticisms made by California Governor Gavin Newsom of Trump's border wall plans, Trump made a series of Tweets criticizing the state's position on his immigration policies as well as its handling of the rail project, demonstrating the link between the funding cancellation and the border wall dispute.
New Jersey and other states are supporting the effort of a Navy veteran from Colorado to challenge the binary gender designations on passport applications. The case could affect how the federal government refers to non-binary individuals.
In a new ruling, Judge Dana Sabraw has given the federal government six months to locate children separated from their families at the border under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. Though many of the more than 2000 children the government took from their families have since been reunited pursuant to a June 2018 court order, reports indicate that there may be thousands more children that are currently unaccounted for.
Appeals Court Permits Philadelphia to Stop Referring Foster Children to Agencies with Anti-LGBT Policies
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city was justified in attempting to prevent sexual orientation discrimination by withholding referrals of foster children to agencies that do not work with same-sex parents. It did not find any religious persecution or bias that would make the policy unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
A New York tenant achieved an early victory in a lawsuit against his landlord based on harassment by a neighbor. This case should encourage landlords in New York and surrounding states to respond proactively to accusations of discrimination or harassment involving their tenants.
A federal judge in Alaska has ruled that President Trump does not have the authority to re-open Arctic waters to drilling that the Obama administration closed to drilling in 2016. Judge Sharon L. Gleason explained that while a 1953 law called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) permits a president to remove waters from drilling, it does not contain a provision allowing a president to add waters to the list of available drilling sites.