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Supreme Court Preserves DACA

June 18, 2020

WASHINGTONThe Supreme Court of the United States, in a 5-4 ruling, struck down the Trump Administration’s attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity to live and work legally in United States. Covington has represented the University of California Board of Regents and its president, Janet Napolitano, pro bono in its efforts to protect DACA since September 2017, when the Trump Administration first sought to rescind the program. 

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the 650,000 DACA recipients making vital contributions to their families, schools, employers, and the nation,” said Robert Long, co-chair of Covington’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Group. “The Supreme Court correctly recognized that the Administration’s efforts to rescind DACA failed to comply with the law. We join DACA recipients across the country, their families, and the UC community to celebrate this historic moment. Covington is delighted to have worked closely with the University of California, UC President Janet Napolitano, and the DACA recipients who provided evidence and their experiences to ensure this outcome.”

In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was rescinding DACA. Covington quickly filed suit on behalf of the University of California and UC President Janet Napolitano, arguing that such a move violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) because it was arbitrary and capricious and did not comply with APA procedural requirements. Following a briefing and hearing argued by Covington, a district court entered a nationwide preliminary injunction ordering the government to reinstate DACA. Covington then defeated an effort by the government to skip review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in order to obtain immediate relief from the Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit later affirmed the district court’s entry of a preliminary injunction. The Supreme Court held oral arguments in November 2019.

The Covington team representing the University of California Board of Regents was led by Robert Long, Jeffrey Davidson, and Alexander Berengaut, and included Mark Lynch, Lanny Breuer, Megan Crowley, Ivano Ventresca, and Dave Watnick.

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