Supreme Court Takes No Action On DACA, Dealing Blow To Trump Administration

The decision not to take up the appeal also hurts Trump's chances to negotiate a deal on the border wall.

The Supreme Court building, covered in snow after a recent storm in Washington D.C.
Al Drago / Getty Images

The decision not to take up the appeal also hurts Trump's chances to negotiate a deal on the border wall.

The Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear an appeal brought forward by the administration of President Donald Trump, keeping in place a program designed to help children who came to the country with their immigrant parents, but who never received citizenship documentation themselves.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which presently protects 700,000 individuals who grew up in the U.S. from deportation, will remain in place for the time being, according to reporting from CNN. A writ of certiorari was not obtained, which requires at least four of the sitting justices on the High Court to agree to hear a case in order for it to move forward.

The decision by the Supreme Court not to hear the case is considered a loss for the Trump administration — and not just because they had been on the side urging the court to hear arguments.

Over the weekend, Trump announced a willingness to reopen parts of the federal government that were shut down as a result of an impasse between him and Congress on the subject of a border wall, according to previous reporting from the Inquisitr. Trump said he would still demand funds for the wall but in exchange would extend DACA protections for three years.

With the Supreme Court determining it won’t hear arguments on the case, Trump’s leverage on negotiations is perhaps severely curtailed.

“The justices’ refusal to act on the government’s pending appeals in the DACA litigation means, among other things, that President Trump can’t use this litigation, at least for now, for leverage in negotiations over the government shutdown,” CNN’s Supreme Court analyst Steve Vladeck explained.

The justices’ decision on Tuesday leaves in place a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court decision that was made before, allowing DACA to continue on due to the way in which the Trump administration had tried to end it. According to litigants filing challenges to the administration’s moves, a plan to phase out the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act, a law that regulates how the executive branch can establish or administer new regulations.

The Ninth Circuit Court agreed, although it explained in its decision that the Trump administration could take other actions that could affect DACA.

“To be clear: we do not hold that DACA could not be rescinded as an exercise of Executive Branch discretion,” that court ruled in its decision. “We hold only that here, where the Executive did not make a discretionary choice to end DACA — but rather acted based on an erroneous view of what the law required — the rescission was arbitrary and capricious under settled law.”