Supreme Court Will Not Intervene Prematurely in DACA Litigation

On January 22, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene in the ongoing litigation over the administration’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.     This means that DACA holders will be able to keep their DACA status while lawsuits continue.

Multiple legal challenges of the administration’s decision to recind DACA were filed in four federal district courts.  In three of those cases, the courts partially blocked the government’s rescission, ordering DACA to continue during the ongoing litigation for those already holding that status.   The government appealed those decisions to the respective federal appellate courts.

In an unusual move, the administration also petitioned the Supreme Court to take up DACA, essentially asking to leapfrog over the appellate courts.   The Supreme Court’s decision allows the cases to continue running their course through the federal courts. It also means that the Supreme Court is unlikely to take up DACA before its next term in October 2019.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals already issued a decision affirming one lower court’s injunction against the government.  Maine was a plaintiff in that case.  Appeals in other circuits are still pending.

Litigation is not the path to real stability for those with DACA, however.    The Senate must press President Trump for a path to permanent residency for DACA holders.  The new House of Representatives is already on board.  The ball is in the Senate and President Trump’s court.