Justice Division petitions Supreme Court docket to intervene in DACA instances

Noel Cummings
November 9, 2018

Three of the Court's justices - Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil M. Gorsuch - would have voted to take up the case, according to the Court's announcement, and overturn a lower court's decision backing the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, which were originally passed in 2015.

Cases challenging the administration's attempts to end protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children are now pending before the Second, Ninth, and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

But even as the Supreme Court was weighing whether to take up the appeal, the FCC under Republican chairman Ajit Pai moved to rescind those very rules. The Supreme Court's decision won't make a huge difference to an ongoing federal overhaul of net neutrality regulations in the short term, but it could set a precedent for future court cases.

"This is the second time the Trump administration has attempted to shortcut the normal appellate process by seeking Supreme Court review prior to any decision by the Courts of Appeals", Davidson said.

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Regardless, net neutrality supporters were encouraged by the Court's decision.

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear the broadband industry's challenge of Obama-era net neutrality rules.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who served as acting solicitor general in the Clinton administration, said the Justice Department has shown serious disregard for ordinary judicial process in the DACA case and other disputes in a Monday evening tweet.

The legality of the program is not at issue in the case. Under the Obama-era rules, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were barred from blocking or throttling web content or creating the so-called internet "fast lanes".

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The policy, put into place by former president Barack Obama, protected from deportation 700,000 "Dreamers" registered under the program and another 1.1 million who qualify but are not registered. The trial judge refused to rule on that challenge, concluding that the states had waited too long to challenge the original DACA program. The change fits with the deregulatory stance of the Trump administration.

In February, the Court denied the administration's request to step into the fight to end DACA, stating in its order that it believed the lower courts would act expeditiously in resolving the cases. The D.C. Circuit upheld the regulations, prompting industry groups to escalate the case to the Supreme Court.

Lyle Denniston has been writing about the Supreme Court since 1958.

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