In Rare Move, Trump Admin Will Appeal DACA Ruling to Supreme Court

The Trump administration said Tuesday it will ask the Supreme Court to review a federal judge’s ruling from last week that blocked President Donald Trump’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The Justice Department filed a notice of appeal with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals and said it will also take the “rare step” of filing a petition with the Supreme Court.

People who call themselves Dreamers protest in front of the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol to urge Congress in passing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, on Dec. 6, 2017. (Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

People who call themselves Dreamers protest in front of the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol to urge Congress in passing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, on Dec. 6, 2017. (Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

“It defies both law and commons sense for DACA — an entirely discretionary non-enforcement policy that was implemented unilaterally by the last administration after Congress rejected similar legislative proposals … to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

Under normal circumstances, the Supreme Court disfavors parties from bypassing lower court proceedings and asking for direct review.

Federal District Judge William Alsup last week blocked the plan to end DACA and said the Trump administration must resume receiving DACA renewal applications.

After Alsup’s ruling, Trump made clear his disdain for the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appeals court that has jurisdiction over Alsup’s court. He tweeted “It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts.”

The federal appeals court based in San Francisco has blocked several versions of Trump’s travel ban and is considered a more liberal court.

The fate of DACA and its roughly 700,000 participants is the subject of heated negotiations in Washington, where Trump, congressional Republicans and Democrats are searching for a way to allow them to stay while also addressing border security concerns.

In his 49-page ruling, Alsup said “plaintiffs have shown that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious” and must be set aside under the federal Administrative Procedures Act.

The judge said a nationwide injunction was “appropriate” because “our country has a strong interest in the uniform application of immigration law and policy.”

“Plaintiffs have established injury that reaches beyond the geographical bounds of the Northern District of California. The problem affects every state and territory of the United States,” he wrote.

Last Saturday the administration, citing Alsup’s order, resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under the program.