Administration lawyers on Monday filed three separate appeals, each asking the Court to review and overturn the lower court orders that have kept the program intact and urging the Justices to do so without waiting for rulings by federal appeals courts, where those three cases are now under review.
The justices rejected that request on February 26, but asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to quickly process the case so it could return to the high court in a reasonable timeframe.
Three members of the Supreme Court - Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch - said they would have instead vacated the appeals court decision as moot, presumably because the commission reversed itself a year ago, after a change in its membership.
"The court's newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, was expected to recuse himself from voting on the petitions because he had participated in the cases while on the D.C. Circuit, and he did". Roberts owned stock in AT&T-owned Time Warner, while Kavanaugh took part in the case when he was a judge on the DC Circuit appeals court, Bloomberg Supreme Court Reporter Greg Stohr noted.
Regardless, net neutrality supporters were encouraged by the Court's decision.
For proponents of net neutrality, Monday's Supreme Court decision represents a victory.
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The case has been before the ninth circuit in San Francisco for six months and the court takes an average of 23 months to issue a final ruling. They give internet service providers greater power to regulate the content that customers access, are now the subject of a separate legal fight after being challenged by numerous groups that backed net neutrality.
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.
"Absent prompt intervention from this court, there is little chance the court would resolve this dispute for at least another year", Francisco wrote in a letter to the Supreme Court. The change fits with the deregulatory stance of the Trump administration. Although the DACA program has wide public support, the issue of its continuation got caught up in Congress in the midst of a deep political fight over broader immigration policy and thus DACA has not been rescued by Congress.
"The last administration started DACA without a mandate or even an authorization from Congress or the courts; this administration can therefore end DACA at any time", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
Instead, the Supreme Court declined to do so.
Lyle Denniston has been writing about the Supreme Court since 1958.