Trump Administration Returns To Supreme Court, Seeking End To DACA


Late Monday the Justice Department announced it was bypassing regional appellate benches and going straight to the high court to gain support for its effort to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Neither Chief Justice John Roberts nor new Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh participated in the decision.

"The petitions for writs of certiorari are denied", the official announcement said, but then added: "Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Justice Gorsuch would grant the petitions, vacate the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and remand to that court with instructions to dismiss the cases as moot".

The rules championed by Democratic former President Barack Obama, meant to safeguard equal access to content on the internet, were opposed by President Donald Trump, a Republican.

Industry trade group USTelecom, one of the groups that challenged the 2015 net neutrality rules, said the high court's action was "not surprising".

Solicitor General Noel Francisco said injunctions by three lower courts have prevented the administration from ending the program, which the Trump administration says has only encouraged people to try to enter the United States illegally. Other challenges to DACA repeal efforts are now before appeals courts in NY and Washington, D.C.

The Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to a set of robust net neutrality rules put in place by the FCC in 2015, but this is by no means the end of the legal thicket over rules of the road for the internet.

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Federal judges in NY and Washington have also ruled against the Trump administration.

The appeal sought to challenge a lower court ruling that upheld Obama-era net neutrality rules that banned Internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to certain websites, CNBC reported.

Should the Supreme Court refuse his request, Francisco pointed out, the administration would be required to continue accepting DACA applications while waiting on California's ninth circuit to rule on the legality of ending the program. The telecommunication industry group originally sued the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) under the belief that the FCC lacked the authority to impose public-utility, common-carrier obligations on broadband internet access service.

The Trump administration and the telecom industry had wanted to erase the 2016 ruling even though the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission in December voted to repeal the net neutrality rules.

The Federal Communications Commission voted past year to revoke those rules.