SCOTUS Denies Emergency Review of DACA Rulings

SCOTUS Denies Emergency Review of DACA Rulings February 27, 2018

The Supreme Court on Monday denied cert in an emergency appeal by the DOJ asking them to intervene in several cases around the country that have ended in injunctions forbidding Trump from ending the DACA program. This is not a surprise, since no appeals court has yet ruled on any of the cases.

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to enter the national controversy over “dreamers,” turning down the Trump administration’s request to immediately review lower court decisions that keep in place the program that protects from deportation undocumented immigrants brought here as children.

President Trump announced in September that he would let the program expire in March, unless Congress acted. Efforts on Capitol Hill to revive the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) as part of a broader deal on immigration policy have failed.

Federal district judges in California and New York have issued nationwide injunctions against ending the program, siding with states and organizations challenging the administration’s rescission. The court orders effectively block the Trump administration from ending the program on March 5, as planned.

No appellate court has reviewed those decisions, and it would have been exceedingly rare for the Supreme Court to take up a case without that interim step.

I would have been very shocked if they had granted the appeal. They do this only in cases where any delay would have serious and immediate consequences of such import that it justifies skipping over the appeals courts. The Supreme Court wants to give both sides the opportunity to fully adjudicate the matter and for the lower courts, both at the circuit and appeals court levels, to provide a thorough analysis of both the factual and legal issues. This is a good thing.

In the meantime, this means those cases will all continue on in the lower courts, so the next term is the earliest they would reach the highest court in the land, and it may well be the term after that before they actually grant cert. Politically, that has real ramifications. It gives Congress more time to kick the can down the road, which they certainly will want to do. I think this favors the Democrats, who now get to run on the issue in the midterms.

Allowing the DREAMers to stay here is about as popular a policy as we can ever get in this country, nearing 90% support across the board, one of the few things that nearly everyone agrees with — except the nativist far right, which is driving the agenda in the White House. The Democrats should be happy with this as a pragmatic matter because it gives them a great issue to run on.

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