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Supreme Court accepts Texas immigration case for review

Supreme Court accepts Texas immigration case for review

Get ready for June decision, and controversy through the November election.

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning granted a Petition by the U.S. government for review of lower court decisions putting a halt to Obama’s executive immigration action.

That action halted deportation for up to 5 million people in the country illegally. Our prior posts have the background:

Interestingly, the Order granting Certiorari added a constitutional issue to the case. The lower courts had decided it based on Obama administration failure to follow proper administrative procedure:

Texas Immigration Case Supreme Court Order granting Cert.

ScotusBlog summarizes today’s action and what is to follow:

The Obama administration’s sweeping change of deportation policy for undocumented immigrants will get a thorough review by the Supreme Court, including the question of whether it violates the Constitution, the Court announced Tuesday. The case of United States v. Texas will be set for argument in April, making it almost certain that there will be a final ruling by the end of June — in the midst of a presidential election campaign in which immigration is a major issue….

The immigration case involves a policy that could postpone, for three years and perhaps longer, the deportation of more than four million individuals who entered the country illegally. The policy mainly involves parents of children who are U.S. citizens or have permanent resident alien status. Announced fourteen months ago, the parents policy has never gone into effect because it is blocked by lower court orders in a case filed by twenty-six states.

A rather unusual aspect of the case was that, although the lower courts had not decided a constitutional question the states had raised, the Justices added that question on their own. It is whether the policy violates the constitutional clause that requires the president to “take care” that the laws passed by Congress are faithfully executed.

It is rare for the Court to take up an issue that was left undecided in lower courts. The question no doubt was added to assure that all aspects of the states’ challenge are reviewed together.

In addition to that issue, the case involves whether the states had a legal right to sue, or are barred from doing so under Article III; whether the policy is “arbitrary” and beyond the president’s powers under federal immigration laws, and whether it is illegal because the government did not seek public reaction to it before adopting it as policy.

The government got what it wanted with the Court’s agreement to set it for argument during the current Term, but did not get what it wanted on the scope of the Court’s review. Its appeal had raised the “standing” and statutory issues. The states, in replying to the appeal, urged the Court to add the “Take Care Clause” issue. The states believe that the policy contradicts existing laws on deportation, and amounted to the president acting as if he had legislative power. The government opposed expanding the case to include that issue — which, it argued, added nothing to the states’ statutory arguments.

I’m posting this from the Philly airport on my way back to Ithaca from Arizona, so I don’t have time to dig deeper.

But isn’t that why we have commenters?


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Translation “Fuck your Mother you Racist Shit.” In case you did not already get the drift.

This could be very interesting outside of immigration.

Imagine the take care clause being more strictly enforced.
That takes away power from the President and gives it to the Congress.

    Ragspierre in reply to HandyGandy. | January 19, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    No. It is all about re-balancing the branches.

    THe POTUS does not have the “power” to, in effect, obviate a law by his choice. He has a duty to enforce the laws, albeit with some latitude as to where he places resources.

      Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Ragspierre. | January 19, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Agreed. A President isn’t just a diktat-spewing celebrity figurehead for the media to fawn over, much as the current officeholder thinks it is. Congress makes the laws, and the President should damn well see to it that they’re enforced – not just when he thinks he feels like it.

      I know, I know – this problem has perturbed our governance for several administrations now, but it’s sharply worse now than previously.

      About time, SCOTUS. And congratulations for taking up that constitutional question – that’s what you’re in business for.

      Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | January 20, 2016 at 2:54 am

      I don’t know about that. 0bama’s only got a year left, so most of his damage has already been done. I find myself rather hoping that President Cruz takes advantage of the precedent he has set, and declines to enforce a whole host of laws.

    Mark30339 in reply to HandyGandy. | January 19, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Obama wanted the appeal heard by Scotus and only needed 4 votes to grant cert, the liberal block has 4 dependable votes. The remaining justices probably wanted the circuit decision to stand. Now that the left has forced the case on them, they’ve decided to enter the thicket and decide how to enforce the Take Care clause. Obama is essentially arguing that while the Take Care clause may be binding on him, virtually no one (and certainly no State) has standing to enforce the clause against him. It will take 5 votes to put together a coherent standard on when Potus can be challenged for failing to carry out existing law, and on how the courts can fashion a meaningful remedy. I just don’t see how Roberts will go there after the embarrassing cover he’s given Obama on Obamacare.

      Ragspierre in reply to Mark30339. | January 19, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      Just by way of reference, one of the things many of us hate about Roberts is that he’s “Mr. Uncertainty”.

      The thing about lose cannons is they roll all over the damn place.

      He’s been solidly RIGHT in some of his decisions, too.

    soljerblue in reply to HandyGandy. | January 20, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Which was there the Framers intended it should be.

If the court allows the president to legislate we no longer have a republic much less a democracy. . .

    Milhouse in reply to OldSarg. | January 20, 2016 at 3:00 am

    The president has no power to legislate, and he isn’t claiming any such power. This isn’t about a power to legislate, but about a power not to enforce certain laws. There’s plenty of precedent for it. For decades before they were struck down, hardly any prosecutors enforced the sodomy laws, and most people were happy for that to be so. 0bama has declared a policy of not enforcing the federal laws against marijuana in those states that have repealed their own laws against it, and most people seem to support that policy. And many states and cities refused to enforce Prohibition, again with public support.

      TheConfusedOne in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Even if you allow for the “prosecutorial discretion” argument how do you get from “we won’t arrest/prosecute you” to “here’s a work permit”?

I’m not optimistic. I suspect it’ll be thrown out on standing, because it’ll be the easiest thing to do.

Remember, ‘Jello John’ Roberts is on the court.

Re that photo: certain fingers are made to be broken.