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SCOTUS: Obama Immigration Executive Orders Remain Blocked

SCOTUS: Obama Immigration Executive Orders Remain Blocked

The 4-4 tie vote means lower court ruling stands.

In a much-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court issued a tied decision Thursday in United States v. Texas, which dealt with the constitutionality of the executive orders President Barack Obama issued regarding parents who were illegal immigrants but whose children were citizens or legal residents (commonly known as DAPA).

The Court’s opinion in its entirety: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.”

As we’ve noted many times, with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia earlier this year, the Court has only eight members. Tie votes allow the last lower court ruling to remain in place, as happened here.

This is far from the last word on DAPA, however. There are additional appeals the government can make, and whoever is nominated by the next President to fill Scalia’s seat on the bench will have a very critical vote.

Incredibly brief decision beneath for good measure:

UNITED STATES, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. TEXAS, ET AL.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.

*UPDATE 12:30PM (MC)*

President Obama spoke to the press after the court made their decision:

“For more than two decades now, our immigration system … has been broken, and the fact that the Supreme Court was not able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back even further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be,” Obama said at the White House.

Obama called the ruling frustrating to those who want to “bring a rationality” to the immigration system and to allow the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally to “come out of the shadows.”

“In the end, it is my firm belief that immigration is not something to fear,” Obama said. “We don’t have to wall ourselves off from those who may not look like us right now, or pray like we do, or have a different last name, because being an American is something more than that. What makes us American is our shared commitment to an ideal that all of us are created equal.”

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Comments

FINALLY someone appears to be taking the Paperwork Reduction Act seriously.

thalesofmiletus | June 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

Last time anything like this happens if HRC wins.

Humphrey's Executor | June 23, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Good, but it highlits the fact that we’re just one judge away from losing the country.

Oh, noes….Obama is pissed over this decision!

This ungrateful country has let him down, yet again.

“In the end, it is my firm belief that immigration is not something to fear,” Obama said. “We don’t have to wall ourselves off from those who may not look like us right now, or pray like we do, or have a different last name, because being an American is something more than that. What makes us American is our shared commitment to an ideal that all of us are created equal.”

The things he named are not things to be feared. Rather, the violence and bigotry and state of war declared by pan-national groups, purportedly in the name of a religion, are not to be tolerated.

    Observer in reply to Valerie. | June 23, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    LOL. What a joke Obama is. So all those illegal aliens waving their Mexican flags and holding their “Make America Mexico Again” signs are just demonstrating their commitment to American ideals of equality?

    And those muslim immigrants and “refugees” joining up with ISIS and demanding the implementation of sharia law in the U.S. are obviously doing the same.

    We have to destroy American ideals in order to save American ideals, right Obama?

buckeyeminuteman | June 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm

What Obama really said was, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Question for constitutional law experts:

What happens if there are two diametrically opposite rulings from different circuit courts of appeals? And the Supreme Court grants certiorari and is deadlocked on both? (Or on the consolidated cases–I think that is possible, but I’m not sure of the “mechanics”?) Does that mean on a federal law question that federal law is different within the geographic jurisdiction of the respective appeals courts?

    UnCivilServant in reply to robert_g. | June 23, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I believe in that case the circuit rulings stand for their territories – as if the cases had never gotten cert.

    In a 4-4 tie case, the lower Circuit Court ruling stands, but it is not binding on any OTHER Circuit Court. It’s the difference between “mandatory authority” and “persuasive authority.” Mandatory authority MUST be followed by any lower Court. Persuasive authority is just what it sounds like: authority that the lower court can consider or not consider at it’s discretion (except where it conflicts with mandatory authority).

    Basically the prior decision of the 5th Circuit is now the controlling law in the 5TH Circuit, but only PERSUASIVE in any other Circuit Court of Appeals or lower Court outside of the 5TH Circuit geography.

    If any OTHER Circuit comes to a different decision, and it makes it to the SUPREMES while there’s still a 4-4 gridlock, that different decision will become controlling in THAT Circuit, and persuasive everywhere else EXCEPT the 5th Circuit, where stare decisis mandatory authority will direct the outcome in lower Courts, unless those lower Courts can identify a distinguishing fact or circumstance.

    What will happen then is once there is a fully staffed Court one Circuit (or possibly both) will either petition for a re-hearing of the case, at which time the underlying Circuit Split will be resolved.

    In Theory.

    Sometimes the SUPREMES are just content to let a Circuit split lie there and cause chaos. If I didn’t know better that they actually take no notice of us at all, I would think that some of the SUPREMES do that on purpose. Why? Because I imagine they find it funny to watch us lowly trial attorneys try to make sense out of two diametrically opposite decisions, both of which are persuasive authority because our own Circuit hasn’t taken up and decided a particular issue.

    robert_g in reply to robert_g. | June 24, 2016 at 1:32 am

    Thanks UncivilServant and C Skinner

Common Sense | June 23, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Obama called the ruling frustrating to those who want to “bring a rationality” to the immigration system and to allow the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally to “come out of the shadows.”

TRUMP 2016! If Hillary wins our nation is doomed!

    Observer in reply to Common Sense. | June 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    What is “rational” about granting legal status to millions of foreigners whose first act in this country was to break our laws? What is “rational” about allowing millions of law-breaking foreigners to legally work in our country when we have tens of millions of American citizens who want jobs but can’t find them? What is “rational” about allowing millions of unskilled, poorly-educated foreigners (who have already demonstrated their contempt for our laws) to have full access to our welfare system when we already have $19 trillion dollars in public debt, and hundreds of trillions more in unfunded liabilities in systems like Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid?

    In 1986, we granted amnesty to what was supposed to be 1 million illegal aliens (and turned out to be 3.3 million), in what was sold to the public as a “one-time-only amnesty” so that they could “come out of the shadows.” The 1986 amnesty was rife with document fraud (which the federal government said it was powerless to do anything about), and achieved none of the goals it was supposed to accomplish. What is “rational” about repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again, with the same entirely predictable result: more illegal aliens.

    The only “rational” thing to do, if we want to remain a sovereign nation that has any hope of every controlling its finances, is to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws. But we all know that will never happen as long as Obama is president.

There were two issues before the court
1) prosecutor discretion and
2) take care that laws are faithfully executed.

The DAPA is enacting a law that congress did not pass. That was the purpose of the SC asking for briefings on the take care clause.

Four liberal justices voting in favor of the presidents DAPA provisions in direct conflict with both the take care clause and article 1 doesnt not speak well of those justices integrity.

It is not a question of whether DAPA is good or bad policy –
It is only a question of whether DAPA is a law passed by Congress

    What do you expect?

    Those four Justices that voted to uphold executive discretion all subscribe to the concept that the Constitution is a “living document” that can be “reinterpreted” as needed and not a static document outlining limits on the Government.

    To those four Justices, Executive Power is a means to an end of social justice engineering, and they’ll allow a Democrat as much leeway as possible to change the trajectory of the nation. They look not at the powers that SHOULD be used, but HOW the powers ARE used. It’s outcome-based decision theory.

I think O idiot also said shouldn’t we worry about the families of these illegals?
I say no, we should worry about American families destroyed by the criminal illegals that have killed, murdered, raped and otherwise destroyed American families.

The dishonesty of this President is appalling.

What a disgusting, manipulative, lying SOS.

Replying to the earlier comments about other circuits: In this case, the Justice Department answered the complaint, so the United States is properly before the district court as a party. The district court’s jurisdiction over the nationwide application of the case is thus acknowledged.

A number of states entered appearances as amici on behalf of the federal government at the Fifth Circuit level and sought to have the preliminary injunction against DAPA (and the expansion of DACA) apply only within the 26 states that are plaintiffs, and the Fifth Circuit denied that appeal. So the preliminary injunction continues to apply nationwide.

It is true that the Fifth Circuit’s legal reasoning does not have precedential value in the other circuits, but that is irrelevant. The federal government is before the Southern District of Texas for this case, which will proceed to discovery and eventual trial on the merits.

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