Just days after the Trump Administration petitioned the Supreme Court to fast track a case involving the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty, the justices turned down the request without comment. The high court could still take up the case in 2020 after a lower court rules or could consider related cases on appeal.
In September of 2017 Pres. Trump ended the DACA amnesty program, which had given work permits and a stay of deportation to about 900,000 illegal aliens. The action received several legal challenges centered around the argument that it was unlawful to terminate DACA without following the Administrative Procedure Act's requirement for notice and comment. The plaintiffs persuaded three federal circuit courts to enjoin the Administration from terminating the program.
In response, the Administration appealed the decisions but also filed three petitions asking the Supreme Court for expedited review of the lower court decisions. The justices were asked to consider two questions: whether the DACA termination is something courts can review at all or is the kind of decision administrative agencies should make; and, if court review is permissible, whether the DACA termination violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The justices considered the petitions at two meetings in January 2019 but never held a vote.
A fourth legal challenge and injunction made its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Last month, that court also upheld a lower court injunction on DACA termination and scheduled a trial on the merits of the case. On May 24th the Solicitor General filed a fourth petition with the Supreme Court.
The petition mirrored the approach of the other three cases and argued the 4th Circuit decision requires the government to continue a policy considered unlawful by both the Department of Homeland Security and Attorney General William Barr. It asked the justices to grant the new petition, along with the three pending ones, before the Court’s summer recess, and to hear all of the cases when the new term begins next fall.
The Solicitor General filed a separate motion for expedited consideration of the petition. It requested that Casa de Maryland, the leading plaintiff in the case, be required to respond to the government’s petition by June 4th. That would allow the justices to consider the petition at their last conference before summer recess.
Yesterday the Court denied the motion for expedited consideration, which means that the justices will have to wait until the fall term to decide on the 4th Circuit case or the other three on appeal.
Read more at SCOTUS Blog.
Updated: Wed, Jun 5th 2019 @ 9:05am EDT