Dealing a significant hit to President Barack Obama’s effort to grant work permits and de facto legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, the Supreme Court on Thursday effectively blocked the administration’s executive amnesty programs from moving forward.
As reported earlier by Breitbart News’s legal editor Ken Klukowski, “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court,” the one-sentence opinion read.
The Supreme Court’s divided 4-4 vote leaves a lower court’s ruling, blocking the executive amnesty programs, in place.
The deadlock comes after months of passion-filled rhetoric on both sides of the issue. With immigration activists and Democrats arguing that the president has broad authority to grant legal status and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants. Republicans and the 26 states that challenged the programs stressed that Obama far exceeded his authority under the Constitution and unduly burdened the states .
In the end the case, brought by Texas and 25 states challenging the amnesty programs — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — resulted in a tie.
Amnesty activists responded to the defeat with a political tone, expressing disappointment but promising action at the polls.
“Let’s be clear, our community will never forget that it was Republican elected officials and politicians who stood in the way of the well-being of our families and have blocked any solutions to fix our broken immigration system,” Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, said.
He added, “The solution is in the hands of our community, and we will demonstrate the power of our vote come November.”
Rocio Saenz, the executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), called the ruling “personal,” promising that the “fight” is not over and that the next front is the election.
“We will vote, we will march, and we’ll hold those accountable at the ballot box who have stood in the way of families with their anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric,” Saenz said. “Today is an injustice, but tomorrow we will vote. ”
Opponents of the amnesty programs cheered the decision as a victory for the Constitution.
“Today, Article I of the Constitution was vindicated,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a statement. “The Supreme Court’s ruling makes the president’s executive action on immigration null and void. The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws—only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the ruling an affirmation of the states’ position, that the president cannot change laws himself.
“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law,” Paxton said. “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.”