D.A.P.A or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program – is the executive action Obama attempted in November of 2014 which was shut down by Federal Judge Andrew Hanen in February ’15 with the issuance of an emergency injunction.
- The DOJ appealed the Hanen injunction, on merit, to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and lost.
- The DOJ then appealed the Hanen injunction, on standing, to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and lost again. (Full Backstory)
The DOJ then filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court. Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. The Court will almost certainly hear oral arguments in the case in late April, with a decision expected in late June – just as the 2016 presidential campaign, in which immigration has already played a major role, really starts to heat up.
(Via Amy Howe) […] The first issue that the Justices agreed to decide today is a threshold question: whether Texas and the other states have a right to file the lawsuit at all – a legal doctrine known as “standing.” The idea behind standing is that federal courts should only decide actual disputes, between parties who have a concrete interest in the conflict. You can’t bring a lawsuit, for example, simply because you don’t like one of the government’s policies; you generally have to show that you have been directly affected or injured by that policy.
The lower court in this case ruled that, at the very least, Texas has a right to challenge the administration’s immigration policy.
[…] The next question that the Justices agreed today to decide goes to the merits of the state’s challenge: assuming the states do have a right to bring the case, does the Obama administration have the authority to issue the new immigration policy?
[…] A third question before the Court is whether a federal law that governs how federal agencies issue regulations required the Department of Homeland Security (the section of the government that actually issued the policy) to notify the public about the proposed policy and provide an opportunity for members of the public to weigh in on it.
[…] In granting review today, the Justices also instructed the states and the Obama administration to address a fourth question: whether the immigration policy violates the Constitution’s “Take Care Clause,” which requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The states had raised this question briefly in the Supreme Court, while emphasizing it heavily below. In many cases, the fact that the lower court did not decide a legal question will often prompt the Justices to decline to do so as well – but that did not happen here. This could mean that the Justices just want to make sure that all of the bases are covered in the case, or it could mean that there are at least four Justices who believe that the argument has some merit; it is impossible to know right now. (read full)
The underlying case has never been argued at the lower court level. As soon as Judge Hanen delivered the initial injunction, the DOJ began the appeals process against the injunction without ever arguing the merits of the underlying case.
The decision of SCOTUS to take up the full aspects of the underlying case is remarkable; however, it could be they felt it impossible to rule on the injunction appeal without just directly getting to the heart of the case.
Regardless, their willingness to go deep, makes it seem like at least four justices are willing to jump into the politics of the executive action. The underlying reasoning of Judge Hanen was well constructed and eloquently outlined. The President granting work authorization to illegal aliens is certain to become part of the larger argument showcasing executive overreach.