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Paul, Weiss and Co-counsel Win Victory in Public Charge Rule Lawsuit

Paul, Weiss and co-counsel The Legal Aid Society and the Center for Constitutional Rights, together with the N.Y. Attorney General, achieved a major victory when the federal government withdrew its appeal in the United States Supreme Court of a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule. The rule allows the federal government to deny admission and legal status to immigrants who are considered likely to receive even comparatively modest amounts of public benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers, for which they are lawfully eligible. The rule had been in effect since February 2020, when the Supreme Court stayed an October 2019 order by the district court judge in our case enjoining the rule nationwide. In August 2020, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction and limited the scope from nationwide to just New York, Connecticut and Vermont, but the injunction remained stayed pending appeal to the Supreme Court.

Last October, the federal government petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit’s decision. On February 22, the Supreme Court granted the federal government’s petition for a writ of certiorari. But on March 9, the Acting Solicitor General and counsel for plaintiffs stipulated to dismiss the federal government’s appeal, allowing the district court’s injunction to go back into effect. (On the same day, the federal government also withdrew its appeal of a district court judgment vacating the rule nationwide from the Northern District of Illinois, which has also gone back into effect.)

The dismissal of the Supreme Court appeal is expected to be the final chapter in a litigation that Paul, Weiss has captained since the Trump administration first contemplated a similar rule in a draft Executive Order that leaked in January 2017. The litigation has involved numerous rounds of motion practice, two preliminary injunction hearings, four rounds of briefing in the Second Circuit, and three rounds of briefing in the Supreme Court.

Paul, Weiss and co-counsel are representing Make the Road New York, African Services Committee, Asian American Federation, Catholic Charities Community Services (Archdiocese of New York) and Catholic Legal Immigration Network as organizational plaintiffs in the case.

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partner Andrew Ehrlich, counsel Jonathan Hurwitz and associates Amy Bowles, Angela Galdamez, Robert O’Loughlin, Leah Park, Adam Savitt, Daniel Sinnreich, Hilary Udow and Brittney Xu.

March 9, 2021

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