The day before congressional elections in which Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric has taken center stage, the administration urged the justices to throw out three lower court rulings that blocked Trump's plan to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in one of the cases in May but hasn't yet ruled.
But even as the Supreme Court was weighing whether to take up the appeal, the FCC under Republican chairman Ajit Pai moved to rescind those very rules.
The Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a closely watched case over the future of the internet - rejecting a petition by telecom industry groups to consider net neutrality, or the principle that internet providers should treat all online content equally. Chief Justice John Roberts and new Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh were both recused from the case.
"Absent prompt intervention from this court, there is little chance the court would resolve this dispute for at least another year", Francisco wrote in a letter to the Supreme Court.
The legal moves reflected a desire by conservatives and industry players to cement the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules, which were created to restrict Internet service providers' ability to manipulate loading speeds for specific websites or apps. The Supreme Court said then that the Justices were assuming that the lower court - the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - would "proceed expeditiously to decide the case".
The Justice Department also has filed suit to block California's state net neutrality law from taking effect in January. The first is whether the Trump administration's decision to end DACA is something that courts can review at all, or whether it is instead the kind of decision left to administrative agencies.
By a 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Court denied petitions brought by AT&T and broadband lobby groups NCTA, CTIA, USTelecom, and the American Cable Association.
Under the Supreme Court's normal procedures, the challengers in each case would have 30 days to file their briefs opposing review.
"This decision is not surprising because the D.C. Circuit's original decision was superseded by the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Order that correctly restored broadband as an information service", Jonathan Spalter, the CEO of USTelecom, said in a statement. Other challenges to DACA repeal efforts are now before appeals courts in NY and Washington, D.C.