Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California and its Implications
Written By: Brian Wolfman
The Trump Administration’s effort to get rid of the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, failed before the Supreme Court in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. In this essay—adapted from a presentation given to an American Bar Association section in September 2020—Brian Wolfman reviews DACA, the Supreme Court’s decision, and its administrative-law implications.
The failure of the Trump Administration to eliminate DACA may have had significant political consequences, and it surely had immediate and momentous consequences for many of DACA’s hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries. In the aftermath of the Court’s decision, some commentators noted, however, that the Supreme Court’s ruling it is not a major legal landmark—that it involves only the application of settled administrative-law principles. Wolfman largely agrees. Nonetheless, the decision’s administrative-law holdings are interesting, and the Court’s ruling contains several of what Wolfman sees as “extras”—little nuances that may affect the law over time and that should interest administrative-law nerds. This essay reviews those “extras” too.
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