The Justice Department on Thursday evening asked the Supreme Court to uphold the Trump administration's decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as a lawful action — and to "resolve the dispute this Term," which, generally speaking, would mean by the end of June.
In response to multiple challenges to the decision to end DACA, a district court judge ordered the administration on Jan. 9 to continue accepting renewal applications from current DACA recipients. After a slight delay, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would begin accepting renewal applications this past weekend.
On Tuesday of this week, however, the Justice Department announced that it would be asking the Supreme Court to hear the case immediately — an effort to skip review by the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which has sided against the Trump administration multiple times and drawn scorn from President Trump.
Trump even raised the issue of his views of the 9th Circuit in discussing the DACA case on Twitter, tweeting that it "shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is" because "the opposing side ... runs to the 9th Circuit."
The department filed its brief at the Supreme Court on Thursday evening, formally a request for certiorari before judgment due to the fact that the department is asking for the Supreme Court to review the case before an appeals court has done so.
"Without this Court’s immediate intervention, the [district] court’s injunction will persist at least for months while an appeal is resolved and, if the court of appeals does not reverse the injunction, it could continue for more than a year given the [Supreme] Court’s calendar," the Justice Department lawyers argue in their brief.
As to the substantive request for review, the Justice Department argues, as it did at the district court, that the decision to end DACA, made by then-acting secretary of homeland security Elaine Duke, is not reviewable and, even if it is, it was a lawful decision.
"The district court has entered a nationwide injunction that requires DHS to keep in place a policy of non-enforcement [of immigration laws] that no one contends is required by federal law and that DHS has determined is, in fact, unlawful and should be discontinued," the Justice Department lawyers argue in making their case for why the district court's ruling should be reviewed and overturned. "The district court’s unprecedented order requires the government to sanction indefinitely an on- going violation of federal law being committed by nearly 700,000 aliens — and, indeed, to confer on them affirmative benefits (including work authorization) — pursuant to the DACA policy."
The strong language from the Justice Department about DACA recipients comes even as lawmakers and the White House have been debating and seeking legislative solutions to provide protections for those people affected by the decision to end the program.