L.M.-M., et al., v. Cuccinelli

Last Updated

March 1, 2020

Joined by Democracy Forward, CLINIC represents two asylum-seeking families and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) in challenging the Trump administration’s policy directives that eviscerate protections for families fleeing persecution. The directives deprive asylum seekers of adequate time to consult with an attorney or other third parties prior to their credible fear interview (CFI). The directives also deprive asylum seekers the opportunity to obtain a continuance before their CFI except in extraordinary circumstances, which no longer include the need to prepare for the interview or to overcome language barriers. We argue that the directives are unlawful because they violate the federal immigration laws, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Rehabilitation Act, and were issued by an unlawfully appointed Trump official, Ken Cuccinelli, in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act and the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

On March 1, 2020, the federal District Court for the District of Columbia held that Cuccinelli’s appointment was unlawful and set aside the asylum directives.


  • LMM Complaint Filed (9/6/19)
  • LMM Motion for Preliminary Injunction (9/27/19)
  • LMM Government’s Opposition to PI (10/21/19)
  • LMM Reply Supporting PI (10/28/19)
  • LMM Opinion and Order (03/01/20)