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SCOTUS Refuses to Hear Early DACA Appeal

By George Khoury, Esq. on February 26, 2018 11:05 AM

The message from the SCOTUS to the POTUS was direct and clear in the short rejection issued Monday morning: No shortcuts.

The administration, not pleased by the federal district court injunction, had attempted to bypass the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by appealing directly to the High Court. However, SCOTUS did not find the appeal to be worth taking up before the Ninth Circuit had a chance to render a decision. Interestingly, the Court did make a peculiar comment after the rejection: "It is assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case."

Proceeding Expeditiously: Throwing Shade or Advising Inaction?

When it comes to vague pronouncements, the High Court proves time and again to reign supreme. After all, what sort of time frame does "expeditiously" imply? Perhaps faster than with all deliberate speed?

Or maybe the Court's suggesting that the Ninth Circuit should take the hint and put DACA on the backburner for as long as possible? Or is the High Court making a subtle jab at the Ninth Circuit about the speed with which it handles cases (because wouldn't that be the pot calling the kettle a slow water boiling device)?

What is clear from the rejection of the Department's petition is that the High Court does not believe the matter is ready to be heard, and that the matter needs to run through the usual channels. After all, it is entirely possible and plausible that the case can be mooted via legislative or further executive action (like the second travel ban). And while "expeditiously" infers a meaning of quick, it also means to act efficiently, and what can be more efficient than disposing of a case without having to lift a finger because Congress acted?

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