Supreme Court to take up WH immigration executive-action appeal

posted at 9:21 pm on January 19, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Better sooner than later, or at least it might be for the White House. The Supreme Court agreed to add a challenge to the Fifth Circuit’s broad injunction against Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration to its docket, setting up a dramatic showdown in April between 26 states and the federal government. The injunction cites demonstrable harm to the states and the limitations of executive authority in offering relief to broad classes of people without Congressional approval. The Obama administration wants its programs back on line by the summer, and hopes the Supreme Court will open the door:

The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it would consider a legal challenge to President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration rules. The court, which has twice rejected challenges to Mr. Obama’s health care law, will now determine the fate of one of his most far-reaching executive actions.

Fourteen months ago, Mr. Obama ordered the creation of a program intended to allow as many as five million illegal immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program sparing them from deportation and providing them work permits. The program was called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. …

If the Supreme Court upholds Mr. Obama’s actions, the White House has vowed to move quickly to set up the DAPA program and begin enrolling immigrants before his successor takes over early next year. Democratic presidential candidates have said they will continue the program, but most of the Republicans in the race have vowed to dismantle it and redouble immigration enforcement.

The administration, fearing that the program could remain frozen through the balance of Mr. Obama’s presidency, had asked the court to move quickly. On that point, at least, the court agreed, and it now appears that the case will be argued in April and decided by the end of June.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will revive the standing argument, which might pre-empt authority issues if successful:

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. said in his court filing that allowing those rulings to stand would force millions of people “to continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families.”

The administration said Texas and the other states don’t even have the right to challenge the plan in federal court. The lower courts decided that Texas does have the right, or standing, to sue because at least 500,000 people living in Texas would qualify for work permits and thus become eligible for driver licenses, the cost of which are subsidized by the state. “Texas would incur millions of dollars in costs,” the state said in its brief to the Supreme Court.

It takes four votes to grant cert, but what those votes mean is anyone’s guess.  This is the kind of fight that would normally seize the interest of the Supreme Court — a dispute between states and Washington, which fits directly into its constitutional mandate. They could have passed on the challenge and allowed the injunction to remain while the case gets argued on the merits at the district level, as it has not been fully adjudicated as of yet. The fact that they didn’t might mean that they want to override the injunction, or it just might mean that they want to dispense with the case quickly in order to settle the precedent once and for all.

The court date for oral arguments will be in April, with an expected decision at the end of the court’s term in June. That may have an impact on the presidential race, even assuming both parties manage to choose a nominee ahead of the conventions that will take place in July. Assuming the court vacates the injunction, it will create a firestorm at the GOP’s confab — and if it doesn’t, it might create a meltdown of another sort with Democrats, especially among progressives.

The court dispensed with another case favored by opponents of ObamaCare — the Origination Clause challenge:

Randy Barnett offered a defense of this challenge to ObamaCare fifteen months ago, but this was always a long shot. The court rarely ventures into the application of legislative branch rules and processes, preferring to allow the coequal branch to police itself to the greatest extent possible. The argument had merit, but it would take a much more aggressive court than this one to have interceded on these grounds. This is the same court, after all, that found the individual mandate to be a constitutionally acceptable tax as an excuse to pass on overturning the Affordable Care Act.

Basically, this means that the Origination Clause is more of a theoretical bar than a practical obstacle. It’s too bad that it didn’t at least get a hearing at the Supreme Court; it would have been enlightening to hear that argument play out and to have the justices decide the challenge on merit.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The court rarely ventures into the application of legislative branch rules and processes, preferring to allow the coequal branch to police itself to the greatest extent possible.

But the states, they’re their b-tches.

Axeman on January 19, 2016 at 9:25 PM

…what will Roberts do?

JugEarsButtHurt on January 19, 2016 at 9:26 PM

Who will shiv the Country? Roberts or Kennedy?

David in ATL on January 19, 2016 at 9:27 PM

The Solid Liberal “Majority” of 4 is behind granting cert.

Roberts undoubtedly supported the sooner rather than later approach.

Interesting that Roberts started with the goal of “keeping the Court OUT of controversies” and has become the whipping boy of the Left who insures EVERY controversial case is heard by SCOTUS.

History will excoriate Roberts as the WORST Chief Justice so far.

PolAgnostic on January 19, 2016 at 9:28 PM

Sad that I no longer have faith the Supreme Court will follow the constitution.

Barred on January 19, 2016 at 9:31 PM

Sad that I no longer have faith the Supreme Court will follow the constitution.

Barred on January 19, 2016 at 9:31 PM

As in ever or just this particular court?

Constitutionalist on January 19, 2016 at 9:33 PM

Have Obama shills Sotomayor and Kagan recused themselves yet?

How about Benedict “we’ve got the photos, John” Roberts?

viking01 on January 19, 2016 at 9:34 PM

John Roberts to Obama’s rescue!

higgins1991 on January 19, 2016 at 9:36 PM

Constitutionalist on January 19, 2016 at 9:33 PM

Who knows. The selection process has pretty much just voting for whoever is nominated.

Barred on January 19, 2016 at 9:37 PM

Bad

We the people are highly at risk from these black robed old lawyers with axes to grind on US.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 19, 2016 at 9:44 PM

…what will Roberts do?

JugEarsButtHurt on January 19, 2016 at 9:26 PM

Whatever his blackmailers tell him to do …

ShainS on January 19, 2016 at 9:47 PM

Who will shiv the Country? Roberts or Kennedy?

David in ATL on January 19, 2016 at 9:27 PM

Yes!

ShainS on January 19, 2016 at 9:48 PM

Face it, the current administration has video of SCOTUS judges bangin sheep or something. This will go nowhere, and much of the damage that illegal alien immigration has done is already too late to fix. We’re done.

bernzright777 on January 19, 2016 at 9:49 PM

Have Obama shills Sotomayor and Kagan recused themselves yet?

How about Benedict “we’ve got the photos, John” Roberts?

viking01 on January 19, 2016 at 9:34 PM

This is why Trump can’t appoint that slimy illegal alien Ted Cruz to the SCOTUS. He’d have to recuse himself in all cases like this …

ShainS on January 19, 2016 at 9:49 PM

The ghouls in black robes once again abandoned innocent unborn babies to the butchers, too. *spit*

pannw on January 19, 2016 at 9:51 PM

In an ideal world, the Supremes will strike down DAPA and DACA, and Congress will follow up by simultaneously tighten immigration enforcement and substantially loosening the requirements to get work visas.

Everyone wins!

NorthernCross on January 19, 2016 at 9:52 PM

This won’t turn out well. SCOTUS will empower future POTUS’ to become full blown Dictator’s. They can make you purchase anything and rewrite all law. The Tytler Cycle cannot be stopped.

Carnac on January 19, 2016 at 10:03 PM

…what will Roberts do?

JugEarsButtHurt on January 19, 2016 at 9:26 PM

Roberts is mainly a unitary executive kind of guy and very open to arguments that the president’s power is…shall we say…expansive. I’d guess conservatives will not be happy with his ruling.

Tlaloc on January 19, 2016 at 10:05 PM

The ghouls in black robes once again abandoned innocent unborn babies to the butchers, too. *spit*

pannw on January 19, 2016 at 9:51 PM

IOW they refused to give into your delusion that a blastocyst is a baby.

Tlaloc on January 19, 2016 at 10:06 PM

IOW they refused to give into your delusion that a blastocyst is a baby.

Tlaloc on January 19, 2016 at 10:06 PM

Ah yes, let us return to the days when we deny a person’s humanity solely based on how that person looks.

NorthernCross on January 19, 2016 at 10:14 PM

IOW they refused to give into your delusion that a blastocyst is a baby.

Tlaloc on January 19, 2016 at 10:06 PM

I bet you quite the evil looking blastocyst at one time.

bernzright777 on January 19, 2016 at 10:15 PM

Ah yes, let us return to the days when we deny a person’s humanity solely based on how that person looks.

NorthernCross on January 19, 2016 at 10:14 PM

Or on it’s obvious total lack of humanity. You know, either one.

Tlaloc on January 19, 2016 at 10:21 PM

I’m at the point where I find it difficult to trust the Supreme Court. The court has become way too political. Everything Obama touches becomes political. You can no longer depend on the court to make a decision based on the Constitution. Now they base it on all sorts of things, which should not be within their power, but they no longer care about what it actually says, they rule on what it would have said if they had written it.

Obama wants to over-ride the Constitution and the Supremes have let him do it with Obamacare so why won’t they let him do it with immigration? I still fault Republicans who have failed the country by not dealing with immigration. I’m not talking about passing the comprehensive immigration bill, that was a joke, no I’m talking about not passing immigration legislation and sending it on to the President. I know the Democrats would filibuster it in the Senate and, if they didn’t the President would veto it, but at least they would have tried. Now they do nothing and Obama can sit there and tell the world the Republicans refuse to pass immigration bills. It’s easy for him to say this now and the Republicans just don’t care.

We need leadership in the Republican House and Senate and without it, we’ll be in the same boat 6 years from now. This batch of Republicans has only been successful doing one thing, kicking the can down the road.

bflat879 on January 19, 2016 at 11:09 PM

Two days ago Trump nailed, just nailed Roberts.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 12:21 AM

Two days ago Trump nailed, just nailed Roberts.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2016 at 12:21 AM

I’d love to know more..got a link to share or anything? I’m terrified at what a google search of “Trump nails Roberts” would turn up.

BobM88 on January 20, 2016 at 1:10 AM

IOW they refused to give into your delusion that a blastocyst is a baby.
Tlaloc on January 19, 2016 at 10:06 PM

When your friends get pregnant, do you:
Do you ask if they’re male or female blastocysts?
Do you ask them if they’ll keep it or sell the stem cells for profit?
Do you send them a Congratulation On Your Blastocysts card?
Do you attend the Blastocysts Shower?
Do you buy them baby items or a jar to put their blastocysts in?

Knowing that you don’t consider a baby human, how you handle this without your friends tearing you limb from limb?
(Also knowing your thought processes from your posts, if you don’t have any friends, I’ll understand you not replying.)

AppraisHer on January 20, 2016 at 1:57 AM

The ghouls in black robes once again abandoned innocent unborn babies to the butchers, too. *spit*

pannw on January 19, 2016 at 9:51 PM

IOW they refused to give into your delusion that a blastocyst is a baby.

Tlaloc on January 19, 2016 at 10:06 PM

The blastocyst stage is over by three weeks after fertilization, or five weeks after the first missed period. Abortion is possible right up to the point of birth.

Why are you trying to limit the discussion to the first few weeks?

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 20, 2016 at 2:58 AM

“Can this be considered a tax? That’s all I need to know.”
/Benedict Roberts

Bitter Clinger on January 20, 2016 at 7:19 AM

Why are you trying to limit the discussion to the first few weeks?

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 20, 2016 at 2:58 AM

Because the little Aztec Death God thinks that way, you won’t notice that like the majority of “progressives” he hates the rest of humanity for not being exactly like him.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 20, 2016 at 7:59 AM

Roberts is mainly a unitary executive kind of guy and very open to arguments that the president’s power is…shall we say…expansive. I’d guess conservatives people who believe in the rule of law rather than men will not be happy with his ruling.

Tlaloc on January 19, 2016 at 10:05 PM

FIFY

Ricard on January 20, 2016 at 8:39 AM

#SCOTUS denies 15-543, Sissel v. HHS, a challenge to Affordable Care Act under Constitution’s Origination Clause

They did admit that it orginated in the Sentate and replaced the bill with from the House entirely with another that was completely different. How is that considered just “amending” a bill?

The PPACA did not originate in the House, but in the Senate, which erased the entire text of a House-passed bill relating to a different subject and replaced it with what became PPACA.
http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Sissel-reply-brief-12-29-15.pdf

Patriot Vet on January 20, 2016 at 9:19 AM

Sad that I no longer have faith the Supreme Court will follow the constitution.

Barred on January 19, 2016 at 9:31 PM

As in ever or just this particular court?

Constitutionalist on January 19, 2016 at 9:33 PM

Like the rest of the of the federal mafia, the SC was corrupted many years ago. The entire judicial system in the US is corrupt. One need look no further than the Tamir Rice case to know this is true. The fish rots from the head down and the SC is the head.

earlgrey on January 20, 2016 at 10:37 AM

Here’s an example of our wonderful Supreme Court in action, and the decision was unanimous.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2009/05/supreme-court-overturns-illegal-immigrant-s-id-theft-conviction/

“But in the High Court’s opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer writes that the law requires prosecutors to show that the defendant knew the counterfeit identification belonged to another person.” So he could not be charged with a felony.

First, how can you prove that the defendant did not know the information belonged to someone else? And secondly, does anyone think an American citizen could possibly offer this as a defense and get away with it?

So in addition to having their own sanctuary cities, illegals can claim they “didn’t know” almost anything and have it believed by the Supreme Court. No doubt that illegals have more rights than citizens do.

memyselfni on January 20, 2016 at 11:23 AM

Since the USSC is completely divorced from having anything to do with the Constitution, it’s a total crapshoot as to how they justify their rulings but it’s probably a safe bet the ruling itself will be against the Constitution.

jnelchef on January 20, 2016 at 12:54 PM

As the Chief Traitor, John ‘Benedict’ Roberts, turned a penalty into a tax, will he now turn illegals into legal Democrat voters?

RJL on January 20, 2016 at 2:36 PM

Did anyone catch what SCOTUS did do in agreeing to hear the Immigration case? They have required that both sides prepare briefs on whether Obama’s Executive Action violates the “Take Care” Clause of the US Constitution. Article II Section 3. The President shall Take Care that the Laws be Faithfully Executed”. That is a Bombshell. Neither side had argued for that. That is a pretty clear indication that the SCOTUS feels that the Executive Branch is grossly stepping outside of Constitutional boundaries. This is an area that they have never directly challenged a President on before. And the challenge for all intents and purposes originates with them. The Court itself. That is rather stunning.

patches on January 20, 2016 at 10:18 PM