The US Supreme Court’s decision on United States v. Texas is expected very soon. There are two main initiatives in dispute in this lawsuit regarding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration:
Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), and
Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA expansion)
What is the Court considering?
The Court is considering several main issues:
- Do states have standing to bring this lawsuit?
- Do expanded DACA and DAPA violate federal law or procedures with these initiatives?
- Do DAPA and expanded DACA violate the constitution?
What are the possible outcomes of a Supreme Court ruling on United States v Texas?
- DAPA and expanded DACA would move forward if the Supreme Court dismisses the case for lack of standing, or if the Court reverses the Fifth Circuit’s ruling on any of the main issues. A reversal would take five votes (five to three, since we currently have 8 Supreme Court Justices). If the 5 votes are received, it would mean the government could begin processing applications*. The government’s implementation of expanded DACA is expected to begin quickly, but DAPA would likely take time to get going as the forms and procedures have not yet been set. USCIS has said it will post all information and updates to its website as it becomes available.
- DAPA and expanded DACA would not happen right now if the Court affirms the Fifth Circuit’s ruling. If the votes are a tie (four to four) the Fifth Circuit’s ruling will also stand. In this case, the government would not be permitted to implement expanded DACA or DAPA at this time. The case would continue before the district court, and could be appealed at the Supreme Court for a second time.
*Even in this situation, the lawsuit may not be finished. It could continue at the district court, be appealed and end up possibly back at the Supreme Court. See American Immigration Council’s overview for more information.