President Joe Biden’s Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Monday to postpone oral arguments in significant cases regarding former President Donald Trump’s border wall and a controversial asylum policy.
The Justice Department said Biden has directed a “pause in construction” so that the administration can undertake an assessment “of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used to construct the wall.” The American Civil Liberties Union, Sierra Club, and Southern Border Communities Coalition asked the Supreme Court last year to block the construction of the wall.
Only hours into his presidency, Biden took an immediate shot at one of his predecessor’s key legacies when he signed a proclamation calling for border wall construction to end. The administration’s filing Monday shows how the Biden Justice Department is moving to bring the building to a halt, as it reviews the former administration’s actions.
The Biden administration is also beginning to put lawsuits launched under Trump that were intended to acquire private land for the purpose of border wall construction on hold, according to court filings and attorneys.
In a separate case at the Supreme Court, the Justice Department is asking to suspend oral arguments in a case on the Trump-era policy requiring non-Mexican migrants to remain in Mexico until their next court dates in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security recently stopped enrollments in the program, marking a step toward ending it entirely. That case is scheduled for March 1. Thousands of migrants subject to the policy continue to wait in Mexico in dangerous and deplorable conditions.
Organizations challenging the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy in the lawsuit include the Innovation Law Lab, along with other immigrant rights groups.
The Biden administration is set to reverse scores of Trump administration policies. In the short term, Elizabeth Prelogar, Biden’s acting solicitor general, is expected to play a key role in managing a wave of potential reversals concerning issues such as immigration, health care, and religion.