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A federal judge in Maryland on Friday ruled that Chad Wolf is likely unlawfully serving as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and temporarily barred the Trump administration from enforcing new asylum restrictions on members of two immigration advocacy groups, according to court documents, Laura Ly and Paul LeBlanc wrote for CNN.

"In sum, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs are likely to demonstrate (former acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin) McAleenan's appointment was invalid under the agency's applicable order of succession, and so he lacked the authority to amend the order of succession to ensure Wolf's installation as Acting Secretary," Judge Paula Xinis' 69-page ruling said.

Xinis also wrote that "by extension, because Wolf filled the role of Acting Secretary without authority, he promulgated the challenged rules also 'in excess of...authority,' and not 'in accordance with the law.'" CNN has reached out to the department for comment.

The preliminary finding that Wolf is likely unlawfully serving in his position came as a part of temporarily blocking two asylum rules while the lawsuit over those rules is heard. The case is ongoing. CNN has previously reported that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, the senior official performing the duties of deputy secretary, were appointed as part of an invalid order of succession. "We vehemently disagree with what the GAO has put out," Wolf told CNN's Jake Tapper at the time.

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