Proving the public persona of the tough-as-nails Notorious RBG is firmly based on a tough-as-nails Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg voted to block Trump’s asylum ban from her hospital bed while recovering from surgery to remove lung cancer.

Trump’s ban on migrants who crossed the border illegally seeking asylum on its face conflicts with federal asylum law, but the Trump administration sought permission from courts to implement the ban while legal challenges rose through the court system.

Friday’s decision, while not about the actual legality of the policy, is certainly indicative of the policy’s chances as it rises through the courts.

Ginsburg, joined by the three other liberals and Chief Justice John Roberts, ruled the ban could not be implemented as the Trump administration requested. No opinion was issued, just a ruling that the lower court ruling, from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, was upheld and asylum claims must continue to be processed.

Trump’s asylum ban hasn’t fared well in courts, but fits with broader policies of hostility toward migrants on the southwestern border and hostility toward refugees.

This blow to the Trump administration’s border policy comes the same day as an expected government shutdown resulting from an inability to get Congressional approval to fund the border wall — another blow to the administration’s southwestern agenda.

Ginsburg, meanwhile, is “resting comfortably” at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Following the removal of two nodules of cancerous growth in the lower lobe of her left lung, Ginsburg shows no further sign of disease and no further treatment is planned. Ginsburg also recovered tremendously quickly from breaking several ribs in November.

Ginsburg has survived multiple bouts with cancer, and Sloan Kettering described this instance as “isolated lung cancer in an otherwise healthy patient.”

The Supreme Court is presently in recess, and will reconvene January 4 for a private session, and will next hear arguments on January 7.


Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.



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