A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Thursday concurred with a federal district judge's decision from January that Trump lacked the authority to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, the Associated Press reported.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the three-judge panel specified in its ruling that the administration's legal challengers "are likely to succeed on their claim that the rescission of DACA - at least as justified on this record - is arbitrary, capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law".
The Department of Homeland Security moved to end the program past year on the advice of just-fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who determined DACA to be unlawful because, he said, President Barack Obama did not have the authority to adopt it in the first place.
A liberal-leaning California-based federal appeals court that has often ruled against President Donald Trump dealt him another setback this week in a major immigration case and soon could be asked to weigh in on a pipeline project he has championed.
On Monday, the Trump administration preemptively asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, even before the 9th Circuit Court issued its ruling.
In doing so, the ruling upholds a decision from a federal district judge in January.
He has taken a stern stance against illegal immigration. The administration cited a 2015 ruling by another U.S. appeals court that blocked a separate immigration policy implemented by President Barack Obama.
The 9th Circuit would hear any appeal by Trump's administration of the ruling late on Thursday by a federal judge in Montana blocking construction for environmental reasons of the Keystone XL pipeline project that is created to carry heavy crude oil from Canada to the United States.
A lawsuit by a group of young Americans, which asserts the US government is harming them by having created a national energy system that causes climate change, is on hold again after a federal appeals court Thursday granted the Trump administration's motion for a temporary stay. He instead wants lawmakers to approve a permanent fix to the dreamer issue in a bill that also includes funding for the proposed wall on the US border with Mexico, along with terminating chain migration and the draft lottery program. A Texas judge declined to halt the program but acknowledged DACA would likely be declared illegal eventually. The 9th Circuit rejected that notion.
The high court has not responded to that request.
The federal government, under both the Obama and Trump administrations, has tried repeatedly to get the case dismissed.
"Had the judge not ruled that way, I think we would have made a deal", Trump said at a news conference.
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