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:
- Texas Federal Court Enjoins Obama Immigration Executive Action
- Appeals Court Upholds Injunction Against Obama’s Executive Immigration Action
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:
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.
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