On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not intervene to stay the lower court ruling temporarily blocking the implementation of President Trump’s termination of the Obama administration executive amnesty. Renewals of approximately 700,000 deportation waivers for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children would have ended on March 5. Now, under the continued Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, those waivers will remain available. The Supreme Court did request that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals “act expeditiously to decide this case.”
That’s not an unusual ruling — it would be unusual for the Supreme Court to step in to prevent a ruling from the courts of appeals. As NBC News notes:
The Supreme Court has agreed only about a dozen times in the past century to take a case immediately and bypass the federal appeals courts, usually involving a national emergency, such as nationwide strikes in the steel and coal industries. … Monday's action by the Supreme Court leaves the DACA challenge pending before the California appeals court, where it is in the very early stages. The Justice Department has said it would take at least another year to get back to the Supreme Court for a decision on DACA's future.
Immigration activists are cheering the decision as a temporary stay of execution. And it is.
But the Supreme Court’s rejection is actually a win for the Trump administration politically, too. That’s because the Trump administration will not have to start deporting DREAMers — so no nasty headlines about Trump cruelty. And meanwhile, the Trump administration will be able to claim to its supporters that it did everything in its power to stop DACA, but was thwarted by leftist courts. In essence, Trump will be able to leave DACA in place while claiming he’s attempted everything to stop DACA. That, of course, isn’t true. The Trump administration didn’t bother asking the Supreme Court for a temporary stay of the lower court’s ruling — good evidence that the administration doesn’t actually want to start deportations.
So, what’s changed? Not much. The media will be able to claim that Trump lost in court; Trump will be able to avoid beginning deportations, and blame the courts for it. While the media champion this ruling as a loss for Trump, on a political level, Trump didn’t lose anything at all.