Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in DAPA and Extended DACA Challenge, Texas v. United States

On April 18, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas v. United States, the legal challenge to the president’s DAPA and extended DACA initiatives.  The lawsuit is brought on behalf of Texas and 25 other states, who seek to block the programs.  The states allege that the two initiatives create a new class of individuals eligible to apply for state-subsidized driver’s licenses, and that this unduly burdens the states by imposing additional processing and issuance costs on them.

The oral argument largely focused on the issue of whether Texas and the other states had standing, or the legal capacity, to file the lawsuit.  Several justices questioned whether Texas’s alleged injury, the supposed burden of additional costs incurred from potentially having to issue additional driver’s licenses, was anything more than speculative.  However, other justices expressed concerns regarding a state’s power to challenge federal actions.

There are various potential outcomes to the case.  The Supreme Court could find that Texas does not have standing and dismiss the lawsuit.  The Supreme Court could find that Texas does have standing and either rule in favor of Texas, against Texas, or issue a split decision.  In the case of a split decision, the Fifth Circuit’s injunction against the initiatives would stand—meaning the programs would continue to be blocked.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision on the case in June.

While the outcome of the case is pending, labor organizations have come out in support of the president’s Executive Action Programs, and have showed their support in a number of ways.  Labor organizations are encouraged to inform their members of any developments in this case, to advocate and express support to local government representatives on behalf of the programs, and to organize workshops for eligible members applying for DAPA and extended DACA relief in case the Supreme Court clears the way for the initiatives to go through.

More information about the programs can be found at: http://www.unioncounsel.net/developments/immigration/news/president_new_deferred_action_immigration.html

By Stephanie Delgado | April 22, 2016

Legal Developments