The Obama administration says the Supreme Court should seek to break its recent tie over plans to protect millions of immigrants, when a ninth justice is on the bench.
The Justice Department request filed Monday argues that the court should not let the 4-4 tie in late June that effectively killed the White House's plans be the last word on an issue of such importance.
The court has been shorthanded since Justice Antonin Scalia died in February.
The filing also highlights the Republican-controlled Senate's refusal to consider President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to take Scalia's place. Until now, Justice Louis Brandeis endured the longest wait before a Senate vote, 125 days. Tuesday marks 125 days since Garland's nomination.