Just last night, we brought you the news that President Barack Obama’s plan to protect from deportation an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants suffered another setback in court, when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Texas-based judge’s injunction blocking the Obama administration’s immigration initiative.
Predictably, President Obama was none too happy about anyone trying to impede his personal power. So who else to turn to in an attempt to subvert the Constitution but “his” (the way he seems to view it) Supreme Court?
As The Hill reports:
The Obama administration announced Tuesday it plans to file an appeal to the Supreme Court of a ruling that blocks the president’s executive actions on immigration.
“The department disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court of the United States,” Department of Justice spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said in a statement.
The administration’s decision was widely expected, and sets up a potential high-stakes court battle over Obama’s immigration policies in the midst of an election year.
Immigrant-rights advocates and the White House see a favorable high court decision as the last hope for the programs to begin before President Obama leaves office.
Not just before Obama leaves office — but, conveniently, also before the 2016 presidential election — in which a new wave of five million new likely Democrat voters could prove meaningful.
By making a swift decision to appeal, the administration increased the likelihood the Supreme Court will be able to take up the case during its current term, which ends next June.
It’s unclear whether the justices will decide to hear the case; they must vote by mid-January to ensure a decision is made in the current term.
After an immigration reform bill died in Congress, Obama last November announced up to 5 million illegal immigrants would be eligible for deportation reprieves and work permits if they met certain conditions. The program would apply to parents of U.S. citizen children and legal residents.
In other words, since he couldn’t get Congress to pass his desired law, President Obama fell back on his most powerful tool — his own pen. Legislative branch, be damned.
Obama also expanded the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which grants relief to young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Republicans slammed the initiatives as executive overreach and a group of GOP-run states, led by Texas, sued to block them in federal court.
In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit sided with the states. The two judges, both GOP appointees, ruled that Obama did not have the legal authority to unilaterally hand down sweeping new rules governing who can and cannot be deported.
U.S. immigration law “flatly does not permit the reclassification of millions of illegal aliens as lawfully present and thereby make them newly eligible for a host of federal and state benefits, including work authorization,” wrote Judge Jerry Smith, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan.
“Today, the Fifth Circuit asserted that the separation of powers remains the law of the land, and the president must follow the rule of law, just like everybody else,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement Monday.
But of course, President Obama seems to interpret separation of powers as his executive branch is separately more powerful than the legislative branch. Furthermore, he seems to believe HE is above the rule of law. And so it’s only natural that Obama’s turning to his Supreme Court — the same group of judges who saw fit to legislate about same-sex marriage — to help him override Congress in establishing new laws on immigration.
We must return the White House to an upholder of the Constitution, rather than an underminer.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]