SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has blocked a key U.S. policy to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country without first seeking protection there, dealing it a second blow in less than a week.

The ruling has no immediate impact because a judge in Washington last week knocked down the policy on procedural grounds.

The three-judge appeals panel in San Francisco found procedural errors as well as substantive reasons to block the policy while litigation continues.

The Supreme Court would be unlikely to hear the case before January.

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