The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Texas’s request for a 30-day extension to file its opening brief on President Barack Obama’s deferred-deportation program, in a move that leaves open the possibility the high court will rule on the plan next year.  The justices instead gave Texas an eight-day delay, as the Obama administration had hoped to keep the case on track for a potential decision by the end of the court’s term in June.  The administration is seeking review after a federal appeals court blocked the program.

With the court’s normal scheduling practices, a 30-day delay would have prevented consideration of the case until the court’s next term starts in October 2016.  The court provided no explanation for the decision, and there were no recorded dissents.  Texas plans to ask the Supreme Court to reject the Obama administration’s appeal without a hearing.  Obama’s top Supreme Court lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, urged the justices to limit the extension to eight days to ensure the case could be heard in the current term.  A delay would “prolong for an additional year the disruption of federal immigration policy,” Verrilli told the court in a letter on Tuesday.

The administration filed its petition on Nov. 20th, making Dec. 21st the original due date for the Texas response.  Parties often request an extension of time to file and the court grants most of those requests.  However the timing of the immigration case made it unusual, and the political motives of the Texas motion for an extension were clear in this case as they attempt to delay the matter.