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Supreme Court Set to Decide DACA/DAPA Future Here's How to Follow It

The Supreme Court will decide the crucial case of United States v. Texas within the next thirteen days. That decision will determine whether President Obama’s two large executive action programs for undocumented immigrants will go forward.

Many of you have asked me on what day the case will be decided. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court does not announce in advance when it will decide a specific case. However, most decisions are issued on Mondays (lawyers call them “Decision Mondays”) so the next day such a decision is likely to come down is on June 20. The Supreme Court has also announced that it will issue decisions on Thursday, June 23 as well. The normal last day for decisions would be June 27, the last Monday in the month, but the Court might add a Decision Day on Thursday, June 30 if it can’t get through all of its cases beforehand.

The Court has thirteen cases left to decide and it has been issuing about three decisions on each Decision Day this month. The decisions are issued in a very old-fashioned way. The Justices actually assemble in the courtroom and a brief summary of the decision is read out loud by the Justice who was its author. It is only when the decision is being read that lawyers and reporters even know what cases are being decided that day. No advance copies of the decisions are released and it is only after the court issues the decision that copies of it are distributed to the press.

I have been asked by some readers if the Court’s issuance of decisions is televised so that immigrants can watch to see if a decision is being made. The Supreme Court does not allow its work to be televised or broadcast live on radio. Most immigration lawyers have been following the Court’s Decision Days on the blog SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States). That web site offers a live-blog on Decision Days beginning a little after 10AM, which is the time that the Justices assemble in the courtroom. The blog is free and anyone can go on it. If you want real-time updates on whether the Supreme Court has decided United States v. Texas on a Decision Day, this is the best place to find out. The blog will also tell you “who won.”

As I have written before, we really don’t know how this case will come out. The Court may lift the injunction, allowing DACA+ and DAPA to go forward. The Court may have an even split 4 to 4 allowing the injunction to stay in place but setting no precedent. It may rule the President’s actions were unconstitutional in a 5-3 decision, which is not very likely but which could jeopardize other immigration programs like the 2012 DACA.

Whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, I will post analysis of it just a few hours after the Court makes its ruling. 

Pat Young, Esq. is Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra University School of Law and Director of Legal Services at CARECEN on Long Island. 

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