The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the White House’s attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Department of Justice had tried to leap over the justice process, but the high court officially refused this request.

The Trump administration had set a deadline of March 5th for ending DACA, which granted work authorization and temporary protection from deportation to more than 700,000 immigrants brought to the United States as children. But as NBC News reports, the Supreme Court’s refusal means the Department of Homeland Security must continue processing renewals for DACA recipients according to the current ruling, for as long as the appeals process continues. In their very brief order on the matter, the justices wrote, “It is assumed the court of appeals will act expeditiously to decide this case.”

Advertisement

This decision is a real setback for Trump’s unpopular and cruel plan to end the DACA program, and buys some additional time for DACA recipients preparing to renew their status. As CNN notes, it will also relieve some of the pressure in Congress to come up with an alternative to ending DACA that both satisfies Trump’s thirst for human misery and protects the 700,000 undocumented immigrants who have made the US their home since childhood. Not that this extra time means they’ll be successful: No bipartisan measure has been reached since Trump announced the end of the DACA program, and it wasn’t looking like one would be put forward by the deadline.

It was actually extraordinary that the DOJ tried to bypass the federal appeals courts. In the last hundred years, the Supreme Court has only agreed to hand down a ruling before the 9th Circuit ruled around a dozen times, usually in emergencies. They have not done so since 2004, but the DOJ argued that the status of DACA recipients was of national urgency. It was, in the sense that Trump probably really wanted to tweet about it on March 5th.