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Supreme Court temporarily freezes DACA document request

A divided Supreme Court agreed 5-4 on Friday to temporarily put on hold a lower court order requiring the government ...

Posted: Dec 10, 2017 12:57 PM
Updated: Dec 10, 2017 12:57 PM

A divided Supreme Court agreed 5-4 on Friday to temporarily put on hold a lower court order requiring the government to turn over documents related to its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The program is an Obama-era policy that defers deportation for some undocumented youth who had been brought to the United States as children.

Stephen Breyer, joined by the three other liberal justices, dissented

A Justice Department spokesman praised the Supreme Court's order

The Supreme Court's order is a setback for challengers, including California and the regents of the University of California, who contend that the Trump administration violated federal law when it abruptly decided to rescind the program. The challengers had sought the documents to bolster their case, pending in California.

RELATED: DACA state of play: Time is running short

Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by the three other liberal justices, dissented from the court's order. Stressing that the lower court has still not heard the merits of the case, Breyer criticized the majority for intervening "in this kind of discovery-related dispute."

He said the matter should be left with the lower courts, which are in a better position "to understand whether a particular discovery order is over-burdensome. "

"This court," Beyer wrote, is "poorly positioned to second-guess district courts' determinations in this area."

The high court's action is a win for government lawyers, who argued in court papers that the "district court's orders mandating discovery and expansion of the administrative record were in excess of the district court's authority."

In a statement, a Justice Department spokesman praised the Supreme Court's order.

"The Department of Homeland Security acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner, and the Justice Department believes the courts will ultimately agree," said spokesman Devin O'Malley.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded: "What is the Trump administration trying so hard to hide?

"The administration owes the American people a real explanation for its decision to upend the lives of 800,000 Dreamers, stripping them of their ability to work and study, stirring fear, and threatening our economy," Becerra said. "We'll keep fighting in court for Dreamers, particularly the 1-in-4 DACA grantees who call California home."

The district judge had filed a statement with the justices arguing that the government's petition "leaves the incorrect impression that the district court endorsed unfettered discovery," he said.

Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California argued that his request was "limited, narrowly directed, and reasonable."

The challengers have until Wednesday to respond to the ruling. The district court is set to hear arguments December 20 on whether the case should be dismissed altogether.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Smith58516
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Lawrence50414
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Webster36613
Wilkinson33120
Kemper32115
Benton3194
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27110
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1064
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
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Jackson205515
Autauga202130
Franklin201731
Colbert193330
Russell19053
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Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
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Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
Cherokee72314
Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
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Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
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