The Supreme Court refused Monday to review a federal judge's order that the Trump administration continue a program protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
The denial leaves in place the popular DACA program, which has protected some 690,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation and enabled them to get work permits.
The program had faced a March 5 deadline for congressional action set by Trump last summer. Two federal courts have ruled the administration's action was illegal.
The justices could have agreed to hear the case this spring, leapfrogging a federal appeals court based in California that has been sympathetic to the cause of immigrants. They also could have overruled federal District Judge William Alsup without a hearing.
Instead, they simply allowed the case to run its normal course through the appeals court, which it asked to "proceed expeditiously." The case still could come to the high court in the future.
The action represents a temporary victory for the young adults brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents or guardians under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by President Barack Obama in 2012.