U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media after returning to the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg)  

Trump to Ask Supreme Court to Prevent Nationwide Injunctions

(Bloomberg) -- Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent lower courts from imposing nationwide injunctions against the president’s policies.

Pence complained Wednesday in a speech to the conservative Federalist Society that federal district courts have imposed more nationwide injunctions against Trump than the first 40 presidents combined. On Tuesday, an appeals court lifted such an injunction against a Trump policy that allows U.S. immigration authorities to force some migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated.

“A Supreme Court justice has to convince four of his colleagues to uphold a nationwide injunction -- but a single district court judge can issue one, effectively preventing the duly-elected president of the United States from fulfilling his constitutional duties,” Pence said in prepared remarks. “This judicial obstruction is unprecedented.”

“In the days ahead, our administration will seek opportunities to put this question before the Supreme Court,” Pence said.

The Trump administration has already tried on several occasions to persuade the Supreme Court to curb nationwide injunctions. It was an issue when the court considered Trump’s travel ban last year, but the justices didn’t reach the question because they upheld the ban in its entirety.

In a concurring opinion in that case, Justice Clarence Thomas said he was that skeptical federal trial judges have the power to issue nationwide injunctions.

“These injunctions are beginning to take a toll on the federal court system -- preventing legal questions from percolating through the federal courts, encouraging forum shopping, and making every case a national emergency for the courts and for the executive branch,” Thomas wrote in an opinion that no other justice joined.

The administration similarly offered the Supreme Court a chance to curb nationwide injunctions in a clash over military service by transgender people. Lower courts had blocked Trump’s effort to bar most transgender people from service. At the Supreme Court, the administration said those orders should, at most, cover the people involved in the case.

Much like with the travel ban, the high court didn’t address the issue because it let the policy take full effect.

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