The U.S. Department of Justice today has asked the Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal’s recent decision in the Texas lawsuit blocking implementation of President Obama’s 2014 of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expanded version of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
As background, the President announced these initiatives in November 2014. Shortly thereafter, governors and attorneys general from 26 states, including Texas, filed a lawsuit against their implementation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction against implementation while considering the merits of the appeal. The Department of Justice appealed the issuance of the injunction and the Fifth Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision on November 9, 2015. The formal request for review is called a petition for certiorari and is the first step in the Supreme Court process. The Court will likely decide in early 2016 whether it will entertain the request. The Justices have discretion to accept the case, hold it over until the next term beginning in October 2016, or reject the petition. If the Court decides to accept the case on its current docket, arguments would be heard in the Spring with a decision expected by the end of June 2016.
The Court’s decision has political implications for the presidential elections. If the Court grants the petition and upholds the Fifth Circuit’s injunction against implementation, it will be a real blow to Democratic who have said that they would actually provide broader relief through executive action to certain undocumented persons in the United States. If the Court overturns the Fifth Circuit’s injunction and permits DAPA and expanded DACA to be implemented, it will damage Republicans who have sworn to rescind the actions, confirming that their positions on the programs are contrary to the law which may strengthen beliefs of racism against Latinos.