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Trump Administration Tries to Get Supreme Court to Allow It to End DACA—Again (Updated)

Jessica Mason Pieklo

The request filed Monday tells the Court that if the justices don't act soon, the administration could be forced to keep the program in place for at least another year.

UPDATE, November 8, 1:35 P.M.: On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s preliminary injunction against ending DACA and its denial of the government’s motion to dismiss the case.

The Trump administration on Monday again urged the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the fight over ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and deporting undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed a letter and three petitions with the Court asking the justices to hear the case before three federal appellate courts issue rulings. In the letter, Francisco told the justices that “prompt consideration” of the three cases is essential because nationwide injunctions require the administration to keep the program in place while the litigation challenging efforts to end it continues. If the Court doesn’t step in at this time, Francisco stated, it could be at least a year before the cases get to it.

In February, the Court denied the administration’s request to step into the fight to end DACA, stating in its order that it believed the lower courts would act expeditiously in resolving the cases. On Monday, Francisco told the Court that expeditious review has not happened.

Cases challenging the administration’s attempts to end protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children are currently pending before the Second, Ninth, and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In each circuit, the administration has appealed rulings that found it exceeded its authority in trying to end the program.

The Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in the case pending before it in May but has not yet issued a ruling. Oral arguments are scheduled for January 2019 in the Second Circuit.

The administration only filed its notice of appeal in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in August.

“The administration’s repeated and unjustified efforts to subject Dreamers to deportation are nothing but cruel, and there is no justification for circumventing appellate court review,” Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration policy at the Center for America Progress Action Fund, said in a statement following the filing. “To protect this institution from being implicated in the Trump administration’s electoral ploy, the Supreme Court should reject the administration’s request.”

Requests like this—for the Court to review a matter before the appellate courts have issued their own rulings—are rarely granted, but that hasn’t stopped Francisco from filing such requests on more than one occasion. On Friday, the Court rejected a similar request by the Trump administration to block a lawsuit brought by a group of young people trying to force the administration to take action on climate change.

Unless the Court directs otherwise, the challengers in each case should have have 30 days to file their briefs opposing its review. Francisco told the Court Monday he believes the matter would be ready to be fully considered for the Court’s January 4, 2019 conference and, should the justices decide to take the case, oral arguments in April, with a decision to follow before the Court’s term ends in June.

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