U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court denies quick review of DACA case in unusual request for cert before judgment

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to quickly review a judge’s injunction that bars the Trump administration from phasing out a program protecting immigrants brought to the country illegally as minors.

The Supreme Court denied the U.S. Justice Department’s request for direct review of the preliminary injunction, report the Washington Post, the New York Times and Politico. The Supreme Court can still decide to hear the case after a decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

At issue was the president’s power to rescind the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The 2012 program deferred deportation for the immigrants and allowed them to obtain work permits.

The Justice Department had invoked a procedure called “certiorari before judgment” to seek immediate review of the injunction by U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco.

The certiorari before judgment process is usually used in cases involving national crises, according to the Times. Such cases include President Harry Truman’s seizure of the steel industry and President Richard Nixon’s refusal to turn over White House tapes. It has been nearly 30 years since the process was used to decide a case before a federal appeals court issued a decision, according to a brief filed with the court.

Alsup had ruled that the rescission of DACA was based on a flawed legal premise that the Department of Homeland Security lacked authority to create the program. As a result, the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the DACA termination decision was arbitrary and capricious, he said.

In denying review, the Supreme Court wrote, “It is assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously” to decide the case, U.S. Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California.

Another federal judge, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis of Brooklyn, New York, has also issued an injunction barring the wind down of DACA.

The administration did not seek a stay of those injunctions. As a result, people currently protected by DACA can still file renewal applications.

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