The Department of Justice said Tuesday that the end of the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency would terminate Title 42 orders that are used to eject migrants at the southern border.
“Absent other relevant developments, the end of the public health emergency will (among other consequences) terminate the Title 42 orders and moot this case,” department attorneys said in a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The government has also recently announced its intent to adopt new Title 8 policies to address the situation at the border once the Title 42 orders end.”
The lawyers stated further that because the Title 42 order would have “expired by its own terms,” the suit seeking only prospective relief would “no longer present a ‘live case or controversy.'”
“In that event, the government will ask the court of appeals to vacate the district court’s judgment and remand with instructions to dismiss private respondents’ suit as moot,” the department said.
MANDATES BILL WOULD REQUIRE TITLE 42 EXPULSIONS OF MIGRANTS UNTIL COVID-19 MANDATES, EMERGENCY LIFTED
The authors said that the mooting of the underlying case would also moot petitioners’ attempt to intervene.
Title 42 was first introduced by the Trump administration in March 2020 as a pandemic curb and has been used to turn away asylum seekers more than 2.5 million times.
HOUSE IGNORES WHITE HOUSE OBJECTIONS, VOTES TO END COVID HEALTH EMERGENCY
President Biden has moved to end the emergency restrictions, and Republicans have sued to keep them. The Supreme Court has kept the rules in place for now. White House officials say that they can continue to turn away migrants under immigration law.
At the end of last year, a U.S. District Court judge had set a Dec. 21 deadline for ending the program with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejecting efforts by 19 GOP-led states to intervene.
The Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court ot affirm the D.C. court’s order.
The Tuesday brief comes a week after the Biden administration announced its plan to end the public health emergency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.