The federal government filed a petition for rehearing in the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to take the extraordinary move and grant a rehearing to decide the executive amnesty case when there are nine justices present.
On June 23, the Supreme Court issued a decision that left in place a block of President Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty order. A decision on the merits by the high court was stalled by a 4-4 vote in United States v. Texas, et al. leaving the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s ruling. When a decision is tied, it leaves the lower court decision in place. The next president’s appointment of a new Supreme Court justice could tip the balance in favor of allowing a president to bypass Congress and implement his or her own immigration law.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in November 2015 effectively putting the brakes on President Obama’s November 2014 executive amnesty order. The Fifth Circuit ruled that the lower federal district court did not err in granting a halt to Obama’s executive amnesty program. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen previously issued the order stopping the president’s actions, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
Obama used federal government action to dictate that the DAPA program (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) be implemented. Then-Attorney General Greg Abbott (now Texas Governor) filed suit challenging the executive order and led a coalition of twenty-six states fighting the unlawful action. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continued the fight and his office argued the case on April 18 of this year. The case involved the issues of the proper scope of presidential power to bypass Congress, the Immigration and Nationality Act passed by Congress, and violations of the Administrative Procedure Act and other federal laws.
As noted by Breitbart News Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski, the ruling was sobering for conservatives because the Court declined to rule on the notice-and-comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The APA requires a time period for notice to and comment from the public before issuing rules that create public policy mirroring law. A ruling that the federal government violated the provisions would have provided for transparency and government accountability.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Obama Administration’s executive amnesty program. The Texas AG said, “Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law. This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”
Officials engaged in a year-and-a-half-long court battle with Texas leading twenty-five other states in fighting the unlawful executive action.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was looking into the options to challenge the latest court action which left a halt to the November 2014 executive amnesty order, as reported by Breitbart Texas’ Managing Director Brandon Darby on June 28.