“The judgement is affirmed by an equally divided court.” With one sentence, the Supreme Court refused to engage in the question of the President’s authority to extend deferred action to the parents of U.S. citizens (DAPA) and additional young people who entered the U.S. as children (expanded DACA). By affirming the judgement, the Court let the injunction against DAPA and expanded DACA stand, dashing the hopes of millions that there would be the ability to work legally in the U.S.
Our eyes will be on the Supreme Court today to see if the Supreme Court will issue its decision in U.S. v. Texas, the DAPA/ DACA injunction case. With the Court recessing in less than two weeks, an answer to the question of the legality of DAPA and expanded DACA is forthcoming soon. The Court still has to issue decisions in 13 cases before the end of the term.
The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has created turmoil in Washington DC and on the Presidential campaign trail. Republicans are uniformly calling on the President to refrain from nominating anyone to fill the vacancy due to the upcoming Presidential election. Within hours of the news of the Justice’s death, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader and the man who controls the Senate’s agenda, stated that the “vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.” The President has stated that he intends to nominate someone to fill the vacancy, setting up a battle with Senate Republicans over whether the nominee will ever get a hearing or approved by the Senate.
What just happened in the 5th Circuit? The U.S. Court of Appeals formally upheld Judge Hanen’s injunction prohibiting the administration for implementing DAPA & DACA. The injunction prohibited the administration from implementing DAPA and expanded DACA until the litigation brought by Texas and twenty six other states was resolved. Injunctions are sought to preserve the status quo while the legality or proposed actions is resolved. Judge Hanen ruled that Texas presented evidence of the possible injury if DAPA or DACA went forward and that Texas was likely to succeed in challenging DAPA and expanded DACA.
Oral arguments in federal court generate lots of light, but very little heat. One thing every appellate lawyer knows is not to predict the outcome of a case based upon oral arguments. The better legal reporters also understand that. Unfortunately, that maxim was not in display in the reporting surrounding the argument on April 17 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit over the government’s motion to lift Judge Andrew Hanen’s DAPA and DACA injunction.
Don’t be too alarmed by news that Judge Hanen refused to lift his stay on DAPA and expanded DACA. Headlines today blaze that the “Judge” has ruled again the administration. With the interest in the appeal of Judge Hanen’s injunction now (and still) pending before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, there can be no doubt that the headlines have caused confusion and consternation rather than clarity.
While the junior senator from Texas dominates the news, we remain more concerned about what is happening in a court house in Texas and another in New Orleans– the U.S. District Court in Harlingen where Judge Andrews Hanen sits and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit which must hear the Department of Justice’s emergency appeal of Judge Hanen’s injunction against DAPA and expanded DACA.
It has been a whirlwind month for immigration as this country continues on its indecisive course on immigration law and policy. We try to make sense of the goings-on: What is the status of Judge Hanen’s ruling? As you recall, on February 16, 2015, Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court of Brownsville, Texas issued a nationwide injunction stopping the Obama administration from implementing executive action reforms, DAPA and expanded DACA.
The Texas judge’s decision to enjoin the government from implementing DAPA and extended DACA has brought the administration’s executive action program to a screeching halt just as thousands were getting ready to file for extended DACA today, February 18, 2015. Instead, people are trying to unearth the procedures for seeking a “stay of the stay” at the Fifth Circuit. Media reports have already surfaced that the administration will not seek emergency review of the stay, raising the specter that the entire executive action program will be on hold for many months.
First thing to know about the decision of the Texas judge who decided that DAPA and expanded DACA were illegal- DON’T PANIC! Keep collecting documents. This is a bump in the road, but is by no means final. What happened yesterday? A Texas judge granted a preliminary injunction to 26 states who sued the Obama administration over the executive action program. This has the effect of temporarily suspending the government’s implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA.