News & Politics

Split Court Would Uphold Blocking of Obama Immigration Executive Action

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Via The Hill:

The Supreme Court appeared divided during oral arguments Monday in a crucial case challenging the executive actions on immigration that President Obama took in 2014.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is typically the court’s swing voter, seemed to side with Texas and the 25 other states arguing the president overstepped his executive authority in granting deferred deportation to nearly 5 million immigrants.
“It seems to me that’s a legislative, not an executive, task,” he said.

“It’s as if the president is setting the policy and the Congress is executing it,” he said. “That seems upside down.”

A 4-4 split by justices would leave in place a lower court’s decision blocking Obama’s action in a severe blow to the president.

The problem isn’t just that the president has a penchant for usurping the legislative branch, it’s that the legislators let him. In recent years, legislators on both sides of the aisle in Congress have put up little, if any, resistance to executive action. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when members of the House and Senate took extreme offense to a president overstepping his authority and trying to do their jobs.

If this holds, it will be for the right reason: Obama is flipping constitutional procedure on its head and four of the justices know that.

Then again, most of us long ago gave up trying to predict what Justice Kennedy will do.