On June 30, 2020, a U.S. district judge in Washington, DC, vacated the Trump administration’s third-country asylum interim final rule as unlawful. That rule denied asylum to U.S. asylum claimants who had traveled through another country first without applying for asylum there.

“There are many circumstances in which courts appropriately defer to the national security judgments of the Executive. But determining the scope of an APA [Administrative Procedure Act] exception is not one of them,” wrote U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly, holding that the defendants unlawfully promulgated the rule without complying with the APA’s notice-and-comment requirements.

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