Sunday, April 17, 2016

Obama immigration actions face critical day at Supreme Court.

Obama immigration actions face critical day at high court

Monday marks a critical day for President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, as his legal team makes arguments to the Supreme Court to allow them to go forward. 

In oral arguments, the Obama administration will ask the justices to lift a lower court injunction that blocked the implementation of the programs, which would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. 

A group of 26 states, led by Texas, will argue the injunction should be kept in place because Obama overstepped his authority and the programs would pose high costs on their governments.

The court is expected to hand down a ruling in June. But Obama and his allies are facing the possibility of a deadlock that would hand a victory to Texas and the states. 
If the short-handed court splits 4-4, the lower court’s ruling would be left in place, which would virtually guarantee the programs will not go into place before Obama leaves office. 

“The 500-pound gorilla is the empty chair of Justice [Antonin] Scalia,” said Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law, who helped file a legal brief backing the lawsuit against Obama’s programs. 

“It has a significant impact on the outcome of the case. Because we’re down to only eight justices, there is a distinct possibility of a tie.”


This is not looking good folks.  I’m not buying the 4-4 split in the court.  I believe with the death of Scalia, Obama has the court stacked in his favor 5-3, which is the reason I am, and always have been skeptical of the mysterious death with no autopsy.  When JFK was assassinated, he took a head shot in front of hundreds of witnesses, and in front of many cameras.  But in spite of all the witnesses and evidence, there STILL was an autopsy. 
The main issue in this battle over President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration is the seemingly trivial subject of the money Texas pays for driver's licenses.

To have legal standing in the case, the state of Texas must show that it has been hurt in some way.  In its filing, Texas argues that it would take a huge financial hit for processing driver's licenses for immigrants in the country illegally whose deportation would be deferred under Obama's executive action.

The Texas attorney general's office said Obama's action "would cause a spike in driver's license applications, thus making those licenses much more costly to issue."

If the Supreme Court finds that Texas lacked a sufficient "injury" to sue, the case ends there and Obama wins.

Mr. Obama’s plan would allow more than four million unauthorized immigrants who are parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents to apply for a program shielding them from deportation and allowing them to work legally. In the short term, a ruling to dismiss the case on standing grounds would at least temporarily save the plan.
A tie vote, on the other hand, would leave in place an injunction blocking the plan and probably deny Mr. Obama any chance of resurrecting it.
The case, United States v. Texas, No. 15-674, was brought by Texas and 25 other states, which say the plan went beyond what Congress had authorized. Lower courts have sided with Texas.
The trial judge ruled that the Obama administration should have given notice of the plan and sought public comments on its new program. The appeals court affirmed that ruling and added a broader one: The program, it said, also exceeded Mr. Obama’s statutory authority.
The Supreme Court asked the parties to address the even broader question of whether Mr. Obama had violated his constitutional obligations to enforce the nation’s laws. But the court must first address whether Texas has suffered the sort of direct and concrete injury that gave it standing to sue in the first place.
“Chief Justice Roberts will be very skeptical of Texas’s standing claims,” said Tara Leigh Grove, a professor of law at William & Mary and the author of an article on lawsuits by states against the federal government to be published next month in The Cornell Law Review.
Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, said his state had brought the case to settle fundamental questions about presidential power.


The eight Supreme Court justices appeared evenly split during Monday's oral arguments in the case over President Obama's 2014 policy to not deport an estimated four million immigrants illegally living in the U.S.

That is likely a bad sign for the administration because a 4-4 split in U.S. v. Texas would mean that lower court rulings halting the policy would stand.

The court's conservative block repeatedly grilled U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli over the administration's position that the 26 states challenging the policy lacked standing to bring their case. The liberal justices challenged the states' representative, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, over his argument that the administration had overstepped its authority.

There was little indication that any of the conservatives – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Sam Alito and Clarence Thomas — or the liberals – Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan or Sonia Sotomayor – were going to break off and grant either side a majority.

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