An Obama appointee on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Randolph Moss, on Monday agreed with the Trump administration's request to halt a lawsuit challenging the White House's new asylum restrictions throughout the duration of the government shutdown, The Hill reported.
Because of the shutdown employees on both sides of the issue are barred from working.
“Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys and employees of the federal Defendants are prohibited from working, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances, including ‘emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,’” the administration said in a court filing on Dec. 26.
Moss also told the administration to notify the court if the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts or modifies their Dec. 12 preliminary injunction that blocked the administration's new policies from going into effect. The administration also has to alert the court if any appropriated funds are used with respect to the rulemaking process.
The lawsuit stems from immigration groups challenging the legality of Trump's proposed asylum ban. Jennifer Chang Newell of the American Civil Liberties Union, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said the Department of Justice asked for more time providing the court with deportees because of the government shutdown.
While the ACLU had no objections, they chided Trump for the shutdown.
"Overall, this is a really unfortunate result of the President's shutdown, and we are hopeful that the new Congress will be able to reach a resolution that enables all of these things to move forward," Newell told CNN.
The DOJ made a similar request in the O.A. et al v. Trump case in Washington that challenges the Trump administration's asylum restrictions.