The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late Friday that the Trump administration cannot enforce President Trump's November executive order restricting asylum applications to migrants who enter the U.S. legally.
The 2-1 decision held the order violates current U.S. law and illegitimately seeks to circumvent Congress. "Just as we may not, as we are often reminded, 'legislate from the bench,' neither may the executive legislate from the Oval Office," wrote Judge Jay Bybee for the majority. Bybee was appointed by former President George W. Bush.
A previous district court ruling likewise held Trump lacks authority to "rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden."
The Justice Department declined to comment on Friday's decision, referencing instead a previous statement about "continuing to defend the executive branch's legitimate and well-reasoned exercise of its authority to address the crisis at our southern border."