OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
The U.S. Supreme Court has already handed down several major rulings this month, and almost none of them have been favorable to Democrats.
The nation’s highest court just gave President Donald Trump and his administration another victory.
In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court permitted a “public charge” rule that allows the Trump administration to screen out green card applicants, CNN reports.
The rule makes it more difficult for immigrants to receive legal status should they be expected to become dependent on government benefits.
A group of state and local governments, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, challenged the rule and asked the Supreme Court to revisit an earlier decision to allow the rule amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“By deterring immigrants from accessing publicly funded healthcare, including programs that would enable immigrants to obtain testing and treatment for COVID-19, the Rule makes it more likely that immigrants will suffer serious illness if infected and spread the virus inadvertently to others—risks that are heightened because immigrants make up a large proportion of the essential workers who continue to interact with the public,” they wrote in their brief.
The court affirmed its original 5-4 decision on the rule.
The Justice Department encouraged the Supreme Court to reject the request made by the state and local leaders, arguing that it was calibrating its handling of immigration policy, given the circumstances.
“Rather than a wholesale suspension, the Executive Branch has instead opted to take more targeted steps to ensure that the Rule is being administered in an appropriate way in light of current conditions,” the DOJ wrote in its own Supreme Court filing.
The High Court has already handed down several major rulings this month.
The Supreme Court ruled last week that defendants in criminal trials can only be convicted by a unanimous jury, striking down a previous law that has been rejected by every state except one.
In a 6-3 ruling, the court said in a divided opinion that the Constitution requires agreement among all members of a jury in order to impose a guilty verdict.
Before that, the nation’s highest court issued a 7-2 decision that gives federal appeals courts greater authority to review rulings by immigration courts and a Justice Department appeals panel that oversees those courts.
The SCOTUS recently ruled that the Trump administration can enforce the “remain in Mexico” policy.
Before that, the High Court ruled 5-4 in favor of tossing a lawsuit filed against a Texas border agent for shooting and killing a Mexican teenager.
In the other immigration case, the Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing the Trump administration to enforce its “public charge” immigration rule, which allows them to deny green cards to immigrants who would be dependent on government welfare for extended periods.
The SCOTUS also ruled 9-0 that there must actually be racism in racism cases.