(President Obama addresses the press from the White House after the Supreme Court decision. / Photo: AP)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday announced that it was deadlocked 4-4 in its highly anticipated ruling on the Obama Administration’s “executive action” that directed government officials to neglect enforcement of certain immigration laws without the consent of Congress. The decision leaves standing a decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocking the president’s order.
President Obama, who ran on a platform of comprehensive immigration reform, faced difficulties fulfilling his promises to pro-amnesty interest groups, as Republicans gained control of the House in 2011 and the Senate in 2015. So he ordered law enforcement to stop enforcing key components of immigration law, creating a system of de facto amnesty where the rule of law no longer mattered.
Texas sued, arguing that Obama’s executive action violated the constitution’s separation of powers by usurping the authority of the legislative branch to write laws.
The sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February left the court with a vacancy and the loss of a five-member conservative majority, resulting in the 4-4 tie.
Democrats have already promised to politicize Thursday’s ruling, apparently conceding that the only way to impose amnesty is to actually write laws mandating it. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wasted no time stumping on the issue, vowing to introduce immigration reform legislation within her first 100 days in the White House.
Republicans touted the high court’s decision as yet another setback for President Obama and firm rebuke of his executive overreach.
“The Constitution is clear: presidents don’t write laws. Congress does,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) told reporters Thursday morning.