The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the controversial Trump-era Title 42 border policy to remain in place for the time being.
In a 5-4 vote, the high court reversed an order from a federal judge in Washington, D.C., who ruled last month that the border policy must end.
The court’s ruling comes in response to an emergency request filed by 19 Republican state attorneys general asking to maintain the policy, which was scheduled to expire this week.
Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch joined all of the Supreme Court’s liberal justices in siding against the order allowing Title 42 to stay in effect.
Gorsuch said in a dissenting opinion that “the current border crisis is not a COVID crisis.”
“And courts should not be in the business of perpetuating administrative edicts designed for one emergency only because elected officials have failed to address a different emergency,” he wrote. “We are a court of law, not policymakers of last resort.”
The Supreme Court on Tuesday also set a date for oral arguments in the case for February, with a final decision in the case expected in June.
The high court’s stay will remain in effect until a ruling is made, but it does not prevent the Biden administration from ending the policy, although the White House has not signaled it would do so.
Title 42 is a policy first implemented by the Trump administration in the spring of 2020. It allows border officials to deny migrant asylum claims under a public health emergency.
The policy has drawn fierce criticism from immigration activists, who say the policy is cruel and inhumane and no longer relevant as mass pandemic restrictions have been lifted in the U.S.
Republicans and border state officials, however, argue the end of the policy will let in a wave of migrants during a record year for migrant encounters at the border.