Obama Asks Supreme Court to Reconsider DAPA Case and DACA Expansion

The Obama administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rehear the case on executive actions that would give immigration relief to millions of undocumented immigrants through the implementation of DAPA and expansion of DACA.

The Department of Justice yesterday afternoon filed a formal request urging the Supreme Court to authorize a review of the case when there are again nine justices on the country's highest court.

This week marks one month since the Supreme Court announced a tie in the case, upholding the decision of the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans preventing the implementation of DAPA and expansion of DACA.

In the petition, government lawyer Ian Gershengom acknowledged that it is an "extremely unusual" request, but argued that there is legal precedent and cited some historical examples in which the Supreme Court took up a case after a tie when there was a vacancy, as happened this year after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February.

In the petition, government lawyers argue that an issue as important and of "great national significance" as immigration should not be decided by the lower courts without final review by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is currently on its summer recess. But by filing the petition now, the Court can keep the request under consideration until the justice who would fill Scalia's vacancy is confirmed.

Even if the Supreme Court agrees to review the case, it could take months or even years before it happens.

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland as the next Supreme Court justice, but the Republican majority in the Senate has blocked the confirmation hearing process, arguing that the choice of the new justice is up to the next president.