What did SCOTUS just do about the DAPA and DACA+ case?

We break it down for you

What happened on Monday?

Back in July, the Department of Justice filed a petition for rehearing with the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas known to us as the DAPA/Expanded DACA injunction hearing. The petition, if granted, would fast-track the case and allow the SCOTUS to rehear the case without going through the lower courts. The DOJ took this step hoping that a full, nine member court would rehear the case and conclusively decide on the injunction.

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied the DOJ’s rehearing petition. This means that the lower court’s decision of an injunction remains for now. The case could eventually wind up back in the Supreme Court but it would need to go through the lower courts again first.

DACA continues alive — continue applying and renewing. We know that DACA Renewals have been delayed, but none of that is connected to this. Don’t panic. Apply and Renew.

Both parties have 30 days from Monday to choose how to proceed in the case before the district court Judge Hanen. The Obama Administration has at least these options:

  1. Proceed with the litigation in Judge Hanen’s court
  2. Seek to withdraw the DAPA and expanded DACA memo programs to cancel the litigation
  3. Ask for an agreement or a stipulation to a permanent injunction, which would close this case legally. This means Hanen cannot do anything else on this case.

If the Administration pursues further litigation, the court proceedings could drag out over many months. It may be unlikely that the Administration would pursue this course of action given the risks of litigation in Judge Hanen’s court, if they have other options to end the case more quickly.

If the administration withdraws the memo that created DAPA and expanded DACA, then this would embolden Republicans to take further actions on other executive action programs.

If the Administration choose to seek agreement on a permanent injunction, which is to close the case, Judge Hanen must approve or deny that choice. If he approves it, the case could be appealed again. If Judge Hanen denies the choice for permanent injunction, then the administration has to pick between further litigation or withdrawal of the programs.

Where does our movement go from here?

Real talk, this year has been tough. The decision we received in June was devastating and this announcement is another hit we’ve taken. But our movement does not depend on just policies, laws, and executive actions.

We are almost a month away from the elections. Even though many of us are undocumented and cannot vote, we have friends and relatives that can. A new president will be elected but just as important is that every member of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate seats will be up for election. Our people need to be represented and we can do that by mobilizing our communities to vote with immigrants and people of color in mind.

Our movement also recognizes that deportation and detention centers are part of a larger system of enforcement. We cannot separate the pain that deportations cause from the pain that police brutality and incarceration is causing. Building cross movement power is our best tool to dismantle the enforcement system and win relief for people of color.

Lastly, we must never lose our spirit as visionaries, builders, and fighters. We must continue envisioning a world where our people can live without fear. Locally, we will end the collaborations between police and ICE. We will continue pushing for educational equity and health care for everyone. Nationally, we will push for an end to private detention centers, LGBTQ and family detention, and an end to all deportations. If we build our people power, change is inevitable.