In a twist to a long-running feud between federal judges and the Trump administration, a judge in New York has ordered the Justice Department to allow a judge to continue to hear a case against a federal district court judge who had stopped the president from using his powers to block a lawsuit against him.
In a court filing on Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declared that the judge, who is a judge on the federal court in San Francisco, could resume hearing a case, even though he had stopped hearing the case, after the Trump White House had intervened in the lawsuit.
On Friday, federal judge in Brooklyn, Diane Sykes, had ruled in favour of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, and said she would not be granting an emergency stay of the lawsuit because she did not believe the Trump Administration could successfully prevail in court.
Sykes ruled that the Trump Justice Department was violating the federal judge-created doctrine of “remedy” by using a policy of de-prioritising judges’ orders to block the president’s use of executive power, including the use of the Daca program to detain unauthorized immigrants.
The Trump administration has been pushing the court to reinstate the policy, saying the court should do so on the grounds that the program is a good tool to stop the surge of unaccompanied minors entering the US from Central America.
This week, the Trump team, which had sought to block Sykes’ ruling, asked the court to declare the judge a judge, which would give them broad powers to continue hearing the lawsuit and block the Trump executive order from taking effect.
“The government should not be allowed to try to delay this ruling for political gain,” said Alan Dershowitz, who wrote the opinion.
Earlier on Friday afternoon, Justice Department spokesman Mark Goldsmith said the department did not oppose the court’s decision.
But he added: “We continue to defend the rule of law and the separation of powers in all of our legal proceedings, and the judge’s ruling today will not change that.”
Syke, who was appointed by former President George W Bush in 2002, had earlier said she was prepared to allow the Trump Department to continue the case because the federal government had not provided enough evidence to support the claim that the D.C. judge had stopped her from hearing the cases.
Her decision came after Sykes had blocked the Trump order in January, after she ruled that federal courts had the right to try cases involving presidential powers under the Administrative Procedure Act.
A US district judge in Washington, D.J., had halted the DAPA order on the basis that it had not been adequately implemented and that the policy had no impact on the immigration status of DAPAs holders in the country illegally.
Trump, who has repeatedly used executive orders to halt immigration enforcement by refusing to abide by a court order to do so, called the Sykes ruling a “political victory”.
“Daca was just one of many examples of how President Trump’s administration has failed the American people and our nation,” he said in a statement on Friday.
His office also claimed that the Syke ruling was “unjustified and unreasonable”.
DACA, a program that allows children who entered the country without legal status to stay in the US and be eligible for federal benefits, was initially set to expire on 1 January, but Trump has said he could extend the program through 2019 if Congress did not extend the unemployment benefits, which are set to end on 1 April.
Under the program, the government grants a handful of children from Central American countries, including Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, temporary visas.
While the Trump government has argued that the government is only using the program to help those with DACA status, some advocates have argued that many of the children who have been granted temporary visas have been in the United States illegally.
“Today’s ruling confirms that Daca is not only a temporary measure, but a permanent policy that has the potential to prevent many of those who are in this country unlawfully from entering the country,” said Omar Jadwat, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which represents a number of Central American children.
Syokes was appointed to the US district court by former Republican President George H W Bush, who appointed her in 2000, before Trump became president.
She was appointed as a judge by Bush’s successor, President Barack Obama, in January of 2017, but her term was extended by two years in 2017.
It is unclear if Sykes will continue to rule on the lawsuit after the court decides on her ruling.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018