Ramos v. Wolf, 091420 FED9, 18-16981

Docket Nº:18-16981
Opinion Judge:CALLAHAN, Circuit Judge:
Party Name:Crista Ramos; Cristina Morales; Benjamin Zepeda; Orlando Zepeda; Juan Eduardo Ayala Flores; Elsy Yolanda Flores de Ayala; Maria Jose Ayala Flores; Hnaida Cenemat; Wilna Destin; Rilya Salary; Sherika Blanc; Imara Ampie; Mazin Ahmed; Hiwaida Elarabi, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Chad F. Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; Kenneth T. ...
Attorney:Gerard Sinzdak (argued), Mark B. Stern, and James Y. Xi, Appellate Staff; Alex G. Tse, Acting United States Attorney; and Joseph H. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General; Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington D.C.; for Defendants-Appellants. Ahilan T. Arulanantham (argued), J...
Judge Panel:Before: Consuelo M. Callahan, Morgan Christen, and Ryan D. Nelson, Circuit Judges. R. NELSON, Circuit Judge, concurring: CHRISTEN, Circuit Judge, dissenting:
Case Date:September 14, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Crista Ramos; Cristina Morales; Benjamin Zepeda; Orlando Zepeda; Juan Eduardo Ayala Flores; Elsy Yolanda Flores de Ayala; Maria Jose Ayala Flores; Hnaida Cenemat; Wilna Destin; Rilya Salary; Sherika Blanc; Imara Ampie; Mazin Ahmed; Hiwaida Elarabi, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

Chad F. Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; United States of America, Defendants-Appellants.

No. 18-16981

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 14, 2020

Argued and Submitted August 14, 2019

Submission Vacated August 21, 2019

Resubmitted September 4, 2020 Pasadena, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Edward M. Chen, District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. 3:18-cv-01554-EMC

Gerard Sinzdak (argued), Mark B. Stern, and James Y. Xi, Appellate Staff; Alex G. Tse, Acting United States Attorney; and Joseph H. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General; Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington D.C.; for Defendants-Appellants.

Ahilan T. Arulanantham (argued), Jessica Karp Bansal, and Zoë N. McKinney, ACLU Foundation of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; William S. Freeman, ACLU Foundation of Northern California, San Francisco, California; Emilou MacLean, and Caleb Soto, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Pasadena, California; Alycia A. Degan, Sean A. Commons, Andrew B. Talai, Amanda Farfel, Mohindra Rupram, and Katelyn N. Rowe, Sidley Austin LLP, Los Angeles, California; Nicole M. Ryan and Ryan M. Sandrock, Sidley Austin LLP, San Francisco, California; Cory D. Szczepanik, Sidley Austin LLP, Dallas, Texas; and Mark E. Haddad, USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, California; for Plaintiffs-Appellees.

Margaret L. Carter and Daniel R. Suvor, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Los Angeles, California; Michael N. Feuer, City Attorney; Kathleen Kenealy, Chief Assistant City Attorney; Valerie L. Flores, Senior Assistant City Attorney; and Michael J. Dundas, Deputy City Attorney; Office of the City Attorney, Los Angeles, California; Donna R. Ziegler, County Counsel, Office of the County Counsel, Alameda County, Oakland, California; Donald A. Larkin, City Attorney, Morgan Hill, California; James L. Banks, Jr., City Attorney, Alexandria, Virginia; Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York, New York; Nina Hickson, City Attorney, Atlanta, Georgia; Jeff P.H. Cazeau, City Attorney, North Miami, Florida; Anne L. Morgan, City Attorney, Austin, Texas; Barbara J. Parker, City Attorney, Oakland, California; Andre M. Davis, City Solicitor, Baltimore, Maryland; Marcel S. Pratt, City Solicitor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Eugene O'Flaherty, Corporation Counsel, Boston, Massachusetts; Tracy P. Reeve, City Attorney, Portland, Oregon; Nancy E. Glowa, City Solicitor, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Jeffrey Dana, City Solicitor, Providence, Rhode Island; Cheryl Watson Fisher, City Solicitor, Chelsea, Massachusetts; Susana Alcala Wood, City Attorney, Sacramento, California; Edward N. Siskel, Corporation Counsel, Chicago, Illinois; Lyndsey M. Olson, City Attorney, Saint Paul, Minnesota; Kristin M. Bronson, City Attorney, Denver, Colorado; Mara W. Elliot, City Attorney, San Diego, California; Howard G. Rifkin, Corporation Counsel, Hartford, Connecticut; Dennis J. Herrera, City Attorney, San Francisco, California; Paul Payer, City Solicitor, Holyoke, Massachusetts; James R. Williams, County Counsel, County of Santa Clara, San Jose, California; Ronald C. Lewis, City Attorney, Houston, Texas; Lane Dilg, City Attorney, Santa Monica, California; Eleanor M. Dilkes, City Attorney, Iowa City, Iowa; Peter S. Holmes, City Attorney, Seattle, Washington; Jennifer Vega-Brown, City Attorney, Las Cruces, New Mexico; Francis X. Wright, Jr., City Solicitor, Somerville, Massachusetts; Susan Segal, City Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Stephanie Steele, Corporation Counsel, South Bend, Indiana; Charles J. McKee, County Counsel, County of Monterey, Salinas, California; Mike Rankin, City Attorney, Tucson, Arizona; and Michael Jenkins, City Attorney, City of West Hollywood, Manhattan Beach, California; for Amici Curiae 6 Counties and 31 Cities.

Ivy Kagan Bierman and Dimitry Krol, Loeb & Loeb LLP, Los Angeles, California; Andrew DeVooght, Nina Ruvinsky, and Alexandra J. Schaller, Loeb & Loeb LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Brian R. Socolow, Loeb & Loeb LLP, New York, New York; Steven M. Freeman and Kimberley Plotnik, Anti-Defamation League, New York New York; for Amici Curiae Anti-Defamation League; Bet Tzedek; LatinoJustice PRLDEF; National Council of Jewish Women; OneJustice; Public Counsel; Service Employees International Union; UnidosUS; Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project; Union for Reform Judaism; Central Conference of American Rabbis; Women of Reform Judaism; Men of Reform Judaism; United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; T'Ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; United Farm Workers of America; Japanese American Citizens League; American Federation of Teachers; and Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Xavier Becerra, Attorney General; Michael L. Newman, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Christine Chuang, Supervising Deputy Attorney General; and James F. Zahradka II, Deputy Attorney General; California Department of Justice, Oakland, California; Karl A. Racine, Attorney General, District of Columbia; Maura Healey, Attorney General, Massachusetts; William Tong, Attorney General, Connecticut; Kathleen Jennings, Attorney General, Delaware; Clare E. Connors, Attorney General, Hawaii; Kwame Raoul, Attorney General, Illinois; Tom Miller, Attorney General, Iowa; Aaron M. Frey, Attorney General, Maine; Brian E. Frosh, Attorney General, Maryland; Dana Nessel, Attorney General, Michigan; Keith Ellison, Attorney General, Minnesota; Aaron D. Ford, Attorney General, Nevada; Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General, New Jersey; Hector Balderas, Attorney General, New Mexico; Letitia James, Attorney General, New York; Joshua H. Stein, Attorney General, North Carolina; Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Oregon; Peter F. Neronha, Attorney General, Rhode Island; Thomas J. Donovan Jr., Attorney General, Vermont; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General, Virginia; and Robert W. Ferguson, Attorney General, Washington; for Amici Curiae States of California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Michael V. Mancini and John W. Shenk, Mancini Shenk LLP, Los Angeles, California; Hiroshi Motomura, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, California; Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.; for Amici Curiae Immigration Law Scholars.

Before: Consuelo M. Callahan, Morgan Christen, and Ryan D. Nelson, Circuit Judges.

SUMMARY[*]

Immigration /Preliminary Injunction

The panel vacated a preliminary injunction barring implementation of decisions to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations of Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, and remanded, holding that: (1) judicial review of Plaintiffs' claim under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) is barred by 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(b)(5)(A); and (2) Plaintiffs failed to show a likelihood of success, or even serious questions, on the merits of their Equal Protection claim.

The TPS program is a congressionally created humanitarian program administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that provides temporary relief to nationals of designated foreign countries that have been stricken by a natural disaster, armed conflict, or other "extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state." 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(b). In 2017 and 2018, Secretaries of DHS under the Trump Administration terminated the TPS designations of the four countries.

Plaintiffs, who are TPS beneficiaries from these countries and their children, challenged the terminations on two grounds. First, Plaintiffs alleged that DHS justified the terminations with a novel interpretation of the TPS statute that rejected, without explanation, a decades-old agency policy and practice of considering "intervening natural disasters, conflicts, and other serious social and economic problems as relevant factors when deciding whether to continue or instead terminate a TPS designation." Second, Plaintiffs alleged that DHS's new rule was motivated in significant part by racial and national-origin animus against "non-white and non-European immigrants," which was "evidenced by numerous statements made by President Donald J. Trump and other officials." The district court entered a preliminary injunction barring implementation of the termination decisions, concluding that the balance of hardships weighed in Plaintiffs' favor and that, under the applicable "sliding scale" preliminary injunction standard, Plaintiffs had established serious questions on the merits of both their claims.

First, the panel held that the district court abused its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction when it deemed Plaintiffs' APA claim reviewable. The panel concluded that Plaintiffs' claim was unreviewable in light of 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(b)(5)(A), which states: "There is no judicial review of any determination of the [Secretary of Homeland Security] with respect to the designation, or termination or extension of a designation, of a foreign state under this subsection." Considering the issue in light of relevant precedent, the panel concluded that §...

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