Wolf v. Cook Cnty., No. 19A905

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation140 S.Ct. 681 (Mem),206 L.Ed.2d 142
Decision Date21 February 2020
Parties Chad WOLF, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, et al. v. COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, et al.
Docket NumberNo. 19A905

140 S.Ct. 681 (Mem)
206 L.Ed.2d 142

Chad WOLF, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, et al.
v.
COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, et al.

No. 19A905

Supreme Court of the United States.

[February 21, 2020]


The application for stay presented to JUSTICE KAVANAUGH and by him referred to the Court is granted, and the District Court's October 14, 2019 order granting a preliminary injunction is stayed pending disposition of the Government's appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and disposition of the Government's petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is timely sought. Should the petition for a writ of certiorari be denied, this stay shall terminate automatically. In the event the petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, the stay shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court.

Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Kagan would deny the application.

Justice Sotomayor, dissenting from the grant of stay.

Today's decision follows a now-familiar pattern. The Government seeks emergency relief from this Court, asking it to grant a stay where two lower courts have not. The Government insists—even though review in a court of appeals is imminent—that it will suffer irreparable harm if this Court does not grant a stay. And the Court yields.

But this application is perhaps even more concerning than past ones. Just weeks ago, this Court granted a stay of a different decision involving the same administrative rule at issue here, after the Government professed urgency because of the form of relief granted in the prior case—a nationwide injunction. The Government now uses that stay—of a nationwide injunction—to insist that it is entitled to one here. But the injunction in this case is limited to one State, Illinois. The Government cannot state with precision any of the supposed harm that would come from the Illinois-specific injunction, and the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has scheduled oral argument for next week. The Government's professed harm, therefore, boils down to an inability to enforce its immigration goals, possibly in only the immediate term, in one of 50 States. It is hard to say what is more troubling: that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it.

This case concerns a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act that renders inadmissible any noncitizen who "is likely at any time to become a public charge." 8 U. S. C. § 1182(a)(4)(A). The provision instructs immigration officers to consider, "at a minimum," a person's "age; health; family status; assets, resources, and financial status; and education and skills" in determining inadmissibility on this "public charge" basis. § 1182(a)(4)(B). For the last 20 years, field guidance has defined "public charge" as a person "primarily dependent on the government for subsistence." 64 Fed. Reg. 28689 (1999) (internal quotation marks omitted). Per that guidance, immigration officers were not to consider non-cash public benefits in deciding whether a noncitizen met that definition.

In August 2019, the Department of Homeland Security issued a regulation that changed this longstanding definition. This new regulation (the public-charge

140 S.Ct. 682

rule) now defines a "public charge" as "an alien who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period (such that, for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months)." 84 Fed. Reg. 41292, 41295. The regulation also expands the type of benefits that may render a noncitizen inadmissible, including non-cash benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), most forms of Medicaid, and various forms of housing assistance. Ibid.

Several lawsuits followed, one of which reached this Court last month. See Application for Stay of Injunctions in Department of Homeland Security v. New York , ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S.Ct. 599, ––– L.Ed.2d –––– (2020) (New York cases). The Government in no small part insisted that it was entitled to a stay because of the scope of relief awarded below: The District Court in the New York cases imposed a nationwide injunction that "rendered effectively academic" the Government's successful litigation on the public-charge rule elsewhere. Id. , at ––––, 140 S.Ct. 599, ––– L.Ed.2d ––––. The Government's unquestionable focus was the scope of that injunction: Its stay application used the word "nationwide" 34 times.

Over the dissent...

To continue reading

Request your trial
26 practice notes
  • La Clinica De La Raza v. Trump, Case No. 19-cv-04980-PJH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • August 7, 2020
    ...of Homeland Security v. New York, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 599, 206 L.Ed.2d 115 (2020) ; Wolf v. Cook Cty., Illinois, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 681, 206 L.Ed.2d 142 (2020). Accordingly, the Rule went into effect on February 24, 2020. Most recently, the district court for the Southern Distr......
  • California v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., Case No. 19-cv-04975-PJH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • August 3, 2020
    ...of Homeland Security v. New York, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 599, 206 L.Ed.2d 115 (2020) ; Wolf v. Cook Cty., Illinois, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 681, 206 L.Ed.2d 142 (2020). Accordingly, the Rule went into effect on February 24, 2020.A broader summary of the relevant statutory framework and......
  • Cook Cnty. v. Wolf, No. 19-3169
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 10, 2020
    ...motion for a stay, but on February 21, 2020, the Supreme Court granted a stay. Chad Wolf, et al. v. Cook County, et al. , ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 681, 206 L.Ed.2d 142 (2020).As we write, parallel cases are being litigated in New York, Maryland, California, and Washington. New York v. U.S.......
  • De La Raza v. Trump, Case No. 19-cv-04980-PJH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • November 25, 2020
    ...ultimately stayed by the Supreme Court. See Dep't of Homeland Security v. New York, 140 S. Ct. 599 (2020); Wolf v. Cook Cty., Illinois, 140 S. Ct. 681 (2020). Accordingly, the Rule went into effect on February 24, 2020. Most recently, the district court for the Southern District of New York......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • La Clinica De La Raza v. Trump, Case No. 19-cv-04980-PJH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • August 7, 2020
    ...of Homeland Security v. New York, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 599, 206 L.Ed.2d 115 (2020) ; Wolf v. Cook Cty., Illinois, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 681, 206 L.Ed.2d 142 (2020). Accordingly, the Rule went into effect on February 24, 2020. Most recently, the district court for the Southern Distr......
  • California v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., Case No. 19-cv-04975-PJH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • August 3, 2020
    ...of Homeland Security v. New York, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 599, 206 L.Ed.2d 115 (2020) ; Wolf v. Cook Cty., Illinois, ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 681, 206 L.Ed.2d 142 (2020). Accordingly, the Rule went into effect on February 24, 2020.A broader summary of the relevant statutory framework and......
  • Cook Cnty. v. Wolf, No. 19-3169
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 10, 2020
    ...motion for a stay, but on February 21, 2020, the Supreme Court granted a stay. Chad Wolf, et al. v. Cook County, et al. , ––– U.S. ––––, 140 S. Ct. 681, 206 L.Ed.2d 142 (2020).As we write, parallel cases are being litigated in New York, Maryland, California, and Washington. New York v. U.S.......
  • De La Raza v. Trump, Case No. 19-cv-04980-PJH
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • November 25, 2020
    ...ultimately stayed by the Supreme Court. See Dep't of Homeland Security v. New York, 140 S. Ct. 599 (2020); Wolf v. Cook Cty., Illinois, 140 S. Ct. 681 (2020). Accordingly, the Rule went into effect on February 24, 2020. Most recently, the district court for the Southern District of New York......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT