2016 Supreme Court immigration ruling on track

The US Supreme Court has rejected a request by Texas for an extension of 30 days to file the opening brief on the deferred deportation program announced by President Obama last year. This decision increases the chance that a ruling will be made on the plan during 2016.

The Supreme Court elected to instead give Texas an extension of just eight days, seemingly heeding the Obama administration’s calls for the case to be kept on track so that a decision might still potentially be reached by the close of the court’s term next June. The program has already been blocked by a federal appeals court and the administration is now seeking a review of this decision.

The standard scheduling practices of the court meant that granting a delay of 30 days would have prevented the case being considered until the beginning of the next court term in October next year. There appeared to be no dissent in the court over the decision, for which no explanation was provided. The case, which has already delayed the implementation of the program, is particularly significant given that Obama’s immigration policy has repeatedly come under fire from Republican 2016 presidential candidate nominees.

Despite the administration’s argument that the 26 states, led by Texas, do not have any legal right to challenge the deferred action program, Texas intends to ask for the appeal to be rejected without a hearing by the Supreme Court.