The Texas Attorney General’s office is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for an extra 30 days to respond to the Obama Administration's appeal of lower court rulings that have blocked controversial changes in immigration enforcement.
The move could affect the timing of a final decision on the program, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, which has been blocked for more than a year since the state of Texas filed suit to halt the program.
In February, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville ruled that Obama violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act by establishing the program through an executive order.
The state’s request, if granted, would give the office of Attorney General Ken Paxton until Jan. 20, 2016 to respond to the White House’s filing. Advocates of the president’s program have already expressed concerns that a final determination by the high court could come as late as June, about six months before the president leaves office. It’s unclear what the timeline would be if the extension is granted.
The justice department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, but in Friday’s request the agency argues the case “warrants immediate review.”
In the state’s request for an extension, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller says the state has “numerous pressing deadlines in other cases” before the Supreme Court that were pending before the White House filed its petition.
Keller also argues that the White House could have asked the high court to take the matter up sooner.
“After the district court and court of appeals months ago denied petitioners' motions to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal, petitioners declined to seek a stay from this Court,” he wrote.