The House approved legislation Thursday authorizing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on the House’s behalf in opposition to President Obamaa’s executive amnesty.
The bill passed on a vote of 234 – 186, with overwhelming Republican approval and unanimous Democratic “nays.”
Next month the Supreme Court is slated to hear the state’s challenge of President Obama’s 2014 executive actions granting pseudo legalization and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants.
To date, the 26 states–led by Texas–challenging the actions have been successful in blocking the programs in the lower courts. The Obama administration appealed to the Supreme Court last year, the court agreed to hear the case in January.
Thursday before the vote, Ryan called the House’s friend-of-the-court brief to the Supreme Court an “extraordinary step,” explaining that the question is not about the policy of executive amnesty, but rather the Constitution and separation of powers.
“In United States v. Texas, the Court has asked whether the president’s overreach violates his duty to faithfully execute the laws,” he said on the House floor. “The House is uniquely qualified-and I would argue, obligated-to respond. We are the body closest to the people.”
He added that if the House is to “maintain the principle of government by consent of the governed. Then the legislative branch needs to be writing the laws – not the executive branch, and certainly not a branch of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.”
The bill Thursday passed with all Republican votes, however, earlier this month Democrats, in both the House and Senate. filed their own, separate brief with the Supreme Court in support of the president’s actions.