[U] Ninth Circuit To Hear Another Consolidated Appeal — Small Aspects Of 1992-Era Flores Settlement: Refugee Minors’ Class Action…
March 25, 2019

[Update: Lest I be misunderstood, in my silence: I will await a redacted version of the Mueller report — which will become public — before I opine on what it means. But my masthead clearly now indicates where we are likely headed. In sum, I will not rely on a two page self serving cover note, written by a man hand picked to protect 45 — after only 48 hours of weekend review. Trust that. Onward. End update.]

First, a bit of background, from this 2017 era Ninth Circuit opinion, entered before we formally started covering the current iteration of the Flores litigation. That opinion concludes — as follows:

. . .Nothing in the text, structure, or purpose of the HSA or TVPRA renders continued compliance with Paragraph 24A, as it applies to unaccompanied minors, “impermissible.” See Flores v. Lynch, 828 F.3d at 910. Nor does anything in the two statutes turn the Flores Settlement or any part of it into an “instrument of wrong.” See Wright, 364 U.S. at 647. . . .

Not a single word in either statute indicates that Congress intended to supersede, terminate, or take away any right enjoyed by unaccompanied minors at the time of the acts’ passage. Thus, we hold that the statutes have not terminated the Flores Settlement’s bond-hearing requirement for unaccompanied minors.

We therefore affirm the decision of the district court granting plaintiffs’ motion to enforce Paragraph 24A of the Flores Settlement in its entirety. . . .

Some rather minor aspects of the implementation of that Paragraph 24A order in the Flores consent are now at issue — in the present iteration of the litigation, here in 2019 — so, the able Ninth Circuit is taking those aspects up on appeal (against the Trump administrations protestations), yet again:

. . . .[Compiled from several docket entries:] This case, Flores v. Whitaker, No. 17-56297, is removed from the 12/10/2018, argument calendar to allow consolidation with a related appeal, Flores v. Whitaker, No. 18-56204, for which briefing is not yet completed. . . .

Oral argument for the consolidated appeals will be re-scheduled in a future order. . . .

Appeal No. 18-56335 shall proceed. . . .

The opening brief is due April 10, 2019. The answering brief is due May 10, 2019. The optional reply brief is due within 21 days after service of the answering brief. . . .

Now you know, but it is gob-smacking that Team Trump continues to throw sand into the gears — orders intended to protect vulnerable minors, at the southern border — to the limited extent that we, as human-beings, possibly can. . . . Simply appalling — ever since the days of Reagan, the GOP administrations (when in power) have tried to evade what the law requires of them.

What human decency requires of us. . . all. . . . Onward.

नमस्ते