Diminished Supreme Court Diminishes Obama Immigration Plan
While the Democratic party is essentially trying to hold the House hostage with its “#nobillnobreak” movement, it seems the Republican party’s plan of holding the Supreme Court nominee hostage is already working.
The Senate hasn’t done an up or down vote on nominee Merrick Garland. The nominee picked by President Obama has waited 100 days since being nominated and hasn’t had much luck in joining the judges of the Supreme Court. According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already come out publicly said, the only way the Senate will vote on Garland is if it’s a lame duck season.
“The principle is the American people are choosing their next president and their next president should pick this Supreme Court nominee,” McConnell said at the time of the nomination.
But what happens when there are only 8 justices?
It’s not pretty and means that the court will not be functioning at full strength and it means that there can be no clear tie if the court is split down the middle.
“Eight is not a good number,” Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said back in May. “Next year I anticipate reporting on the decisions of a full bench.”
It’s not May anymore and it definitely isn’t next year. But yet another decision has ended in a 4-4 deadlock and the decision affects millions of people in the process. The Supreme Court’s deadlock just defeated the Obama administration’s immigration plan as the Court could not rule on the legality of the plan.
The program was called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. However the case United States v. Texas concerned an executive action by the president to allow as many as five million unauthorized immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program that would spare them from deportation and provide them with work permits. Obama proposed to allow people who fit the category to come forward, undergo a background check and receive a work permit if they qualified.
“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law,” Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, said in a statement after the ruling. “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.”
Now, thanks to the deadlocked decision, as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants will now face deportation as they will not be shielded to work in the U.S.
“Today’s decision is frustrating to those who seek to grow our economy and bring a rationality to our immigration system,” President Obama told reporters two-day trip “It is heartbreaking for the millions of immigrants who have made their lives here. In November, Americans are going to have to make a decision about what we care about and who we are.”
A lot is hinging on this election come November, and the Supreme Court decision is just one of them. But it may be one of the most impIt was also a reminder how having eight justices is diminishing an already overworked Supreme Court and more and more of these decisions will crop up in coming months.
“They are allowing partisan politics to jeopardize something as fundamental as the impartiality and integrity of our judicial system,” Obama said. “Americans should not let that stand. “Congress is not going to be able to ignore America forever. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
The President may already have a deadline–November. He also isn’t the first Democrat to come out and say so. Senator Chris Murphy has also gone on record saying that November will be critical for the nation’s government.
“We didn’t get the votes in our favor, but we did get Republicans on record once again standing against 90 percent of their constituents,” Murphy said on MSNBC, regarding the Senate’s recent gun bill vote. “And there will be a price to pay eventually at the electorate.”
Whether or not it will take until November for that price to be paid remains to be seen but it’s clear that it’s not going to last forever.
“We get these spasms of politics around immigration and fear-mongering, and then our traditions and our history and our better impulses kick in,” Obama said.