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The Supreme Court rejected a Trump administration petition on DACA Monday. The administration had asked the Supreme Court to bypass the usual appeals process, in a rare request, and to decide the case without waiting for an appeals court ruling first. The court denied the request, issuing the following order:
The petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment is denied without prejudice. It is assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case.
This order means that the administration will not be able to present its case directly to the Supreme Court, which would then likely issue a ruling by the end of the current term this summer. Now the administration and everyone else may have to wait a while for a decision in the case.
Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California is currently before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Trump administration had hoped to see the case leapfrog that court, both for expediency and because of the likely outcome. The Ninth Circuit is the most liberal in the country and is widely expected to rule against the administration. Further appeals courts are not known for speedy decisions. Hopefully, that won’t be the case here, as they know the Justices will be waiting on them, and mentioned speed in the order itself.
Limbo may be the best position for the administration politically – for the moment. As Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson wrote, “Trump doesn’t want to win right now, or lose right now, he wants a DACA deal.” This decision does keep DACA on the bargaining table and depending on how long the 9th Circuit takes, keeps the options open for an agreement outside the courts.