The Supreme Court made an important ruling on Tuesday that it would rule on Obama’s Immigration Executive Action case in its current term, much to the dismay of Texas and the other states that filed motions to have the case either thrown out or delayed to a date after Obama leaves office. The justices raised the possibility of a broad decision by taking the unusual step of adding their own question to the case, asking the parties to address whether President Obama had violated his constitutional obligations to enforce the nation’s laws.
White House officials said Tuesday that the steps taken by the President were “consistent with the actions taken by presidents of both parties” and expressed optimism that the court would agree. “The policies will make our communities safer. They will make our economy stronger,” said Brandi Hoffine, an assistant White House press secretary. “They are consistent with the actions taken by presidents of both parties, the laws passed by Congress, and the decisions of the Supreme Court. We are confident that the policies will be upheld as lawful.” Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas is leading the challenge to the President’s immigration actions, and he argued to the court that no president can “unilaterally rewrite congressional laws and circumvent the people’s representatives.”
If the Supreme Court upholds the President’s actions, the administration could then move quickly to set up the DAPA program and begin enrolling immigrants before the next President takes over early next year. Democratic candidates in the election have promised to continue the program, but most of the Republicans in the race have vowed to dismantle it and instead boost immigration enforcement. The administration had asked the court to move quickly, while Texas and the other GOP states wanted it delayed. The Supreme Court’s announcement on Tuesday was at least a preliminary win for the Obama Administration as it now appears that the case will be argued in April and decided by the end of June.