The Supreme Court passed up a chance to weigh in on the Biden administration’s decision to declare an end to the coronavirus public health emergency and allow strict pandemic-related limits on asylum-seekers to expire, Politico reports. A coalition of conservative states sought to enter litigation over the policy known as Title 42 after the Biden administration was ordered to end the immigration restrictions last year and agreed to a wind-down period to do so. Last December, the justices voted 5-4 to block temporarily a judge’s order requiring an end to the immigration restrictions. The Supreme Court added the dispute to its docket to be argued this year.
However, after the Biden administration announced plans to terminate the public health emergency this month, the justices removed the case from their argument calendar. Last week, the administration formally ended the emergency and the related immigration controls. On Thursday, the justices effectively declared the legal dispute moot and eliminated an order from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denying the red states’ effort to wade into the long-running legal case brought by lawyers representing asylum-seekers. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented from the court’s action. She said she would have had the Supreme Court drop the matter without directing the appeals court to do anything. Justice Neil Gorsuch endorsed the high court’s action but wrote an opinion arguing that it was a mistake to use the pandemic-related measure to control a long-standing problem with irregular immigration on the southern border.