Following the disheartening Supreme Court deadlock last month on President Obama’s immigration executive actions, which included such proposed programs as DAPA and Expanded DACA, there were many advocacy groups highlighting the unfairness of having conducted a hearing without a full Bench due to the political maneuver of Senate Republicans who refused to appoint a successor to Justice Scalia. On July 18, in a surprising move, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) petitioned the Supreme Court for a rehearing in the case over President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Indeed, the administration asked the court to hear the case again when it has nine justices instead of the non-precedential 4-4 split reached in June, when there was a clear vacancy.
Although it is reportedly quite rare for the Supreme Court to grant re-hearings, the Obama administration has made the case that this is a rare circumstance when the court is actually missing a Justice. In fact, the DOJ noted that there has been cases previously in which the justices revisited a situation which had deadlocked due to a vacancy. The White House explained that due to the Republican Senate’s willful prevention of the Supreme Court from being fully staffed, they were not operating as our founding fathers had intended. In President Obama’s June 23rd address following the deadlock decision, he stated: “They are allowing partisan politics to jeopardize something as fundamental as the impartiality and integrity of our justice system.”
Immigrant advocacy groups have praised the Obama administration’s decision to request a re-hearing. The DOJ’s commitment to the Executive Actions on Immigration and persistence in seeing these actions receive their fair due process provides a new glimmer of hope regarding the possibility that DAPA and Expanded DACA may actually be brought to fruition. At the Shulman Law Group, LLC, we remain on the pulse of legislation, newsworthy events, and issues confronting our immigrant clients and community whom we proudly serve.