The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to accelerate the Trump administration’s appeal of a lower court order requiring the government to continue administering the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era amnesty initiative that extends legal status to 700,000 illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. as children.
The justices ordered DACA supporters to file a brief defending the lower court judgement by Feb. 2, a swift timetable compared to other cases. The expedited schedule means the justices could make a decision about whether to review the ruling as soon as Feb. 16, when the Court is next scheduled to meet in conference to discuss pending cases.
If the justices agree to take the case, arguments will likely be scheduled for the spring. A decision would follow by late June.
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Judge William Alsup’s Jan. 9 ruling prompted the government’s appeal to the high court. Alsup concluded DACA’s termination was based on an error of law, making the action “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, [and] otherwise not in accordance with law.”
In a remarkable procedural move, the Department of Justice declined to follow normal course by appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and brought the case straight to the justices.
Tuesday’s order comes as President Donald Trump is negotiating with congressional Democrats to reach a permanent solution for DACA recipients. A legislative solution could moot the case before the Supreme Court reaches a decision.
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