Supreme Court Will Hear ‘Dreamers’ Case – The New York Times

In November, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled against the administration. It acknowledged that presidents have broad powers to alter the policies of earlier administrations but said the legal rationale offered by the Trump administration did not withstand scrutiny. The court also questioned “the cruelty and wastefulness of deporting productive young people to countries with which they have no ties.”

In May, a second federal appeals court, the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a similar ruling.

The Trump administration has long sought to persuade the Supreme Court to rule on whether it had the authority to cancel the program. But the justices turned down an unusual petition seeking review filed in January 2018, before any appeals court had ruled. The administration asked again in November 2018, not long before the Ninth Circuit ruled. For many months, the Supreme Court took no action on the request, which was at odds with the court’s usual practice.

In May, the administration filed yet another petition, this one seeking review of the Fourth Circuit’s decision.

The administration has argued that the program was an unconstitutional exercise of executive authority, relying on a ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, concerning a related program. The Supreme Court deadlocked, 4 to 4, in an appeal of that ruling.

But the Ninth Circuit said the two programs differed in important ways, undermining the administration’s legal analysis. The appeals court affirmed a nationwide injunction ordering the administration to retain major elements of the program while the case moved forward. Such nationwide injunctions, which have been used by courts to block executive actions in both the Obama and the Trump administrations, have been the subject of much commentary and criticism.

The decision by the Supreme Court to take the case could provide new motivation for lawmakers and the White House to try and reach a deal before a ruling that might open hundreds of thousands of immigrants to the threat of immediate deportation.


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