By Jake Kaplan

Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:

The Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration’s request to overturn a lower court order that compelled the Department of Homeland Security to reinstate the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” immigration policy. 

  • The Migrant Protection Protocols is a 2018 Trump-era DHS policy that requires asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting a hearing in United States immigration court. The Biden administration terminated the policy in June.
  • Texas and Missouri challenged the Biden administration’s decision to end the policy, and a federal judge in Texas agreed with the states — ordering the Biden administration to reinstate the policy. 
  • The Biden administration filed an emergency application to the Supreme Court, arguing that reinstating the policy would “threaten chaos at the border.” The Court’s conservative bloc disagreed. Liberal justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan sided with Biden.
  • Critics of the decision pointed out that the Court repeatedly overturned lower court injunctions, such as this one, during Trump’s presidency. Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern tweeted, “SCOTUS’ conservative majority repeatedly cleared away lower court injunctions so that Trump could implement his immigration agenda. Now it lets a single district court judge dictate foreign policy for the Biden administration. This is beyond outrageous.”

A federal judge in California declared a mistrial in a fraud case against Michael Avenatti, the former attorney for Stormy Daniels. 

  • In 2019, a grand jury indicted Avenatti on charges of stealing millions of dollars from clients, and of lying about his finances to, among others, creditors, a bankruptcy court and an IRS collection agent. 
  • The trial was in its sixth week when District Judge James Selna declared a mistrial. According to Judge Selna, “prejudice occurred…in a number of ways,” including prosecutors withholding financial data from Avenatti’s team. 
  • Avenatti’s new trial is scheduled to begin on October 12th. 
  • This case isn’t Avenatti’s only legal battle. In July, he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for an extortion scheme against Nike. Avenatti is appealing that conviction. Meanwhile, Avenatti is also awaiting trial in another case in which he stands accused of stealing $300,000 in proceeds from Stormy Daniels’ book.