The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take another look at President Obama’s immigration policy, dashing the hopes that the justices would reconsider it while Obama is still in office. The court declined to wait until a ninth justice is confirmed and seated to rehear the case, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away earlier this year.
Door Closes on Obama’s Immigration Policy
Back in June, the justices were unable to reach a decision regarding the administration’s immigration policy. The judges tied 4-4. The Supreme Court seldom agrees to rehear cases a second time, but has on occasion when a justice’s retirement or death leaves a vacancy that leads to a 4-4 tie. In those cases, the high court leaves the decision of the lower court intact and sets no national precedent.
Had it been passed, Obama’s immigration policy would shield more than four million immigrants from deportation. A total of 26 states led by Texas sued the government after the policy was announced in 2014. The states claimed that the president had no power to order the policy changes.
The Supreme Court’s decision was applauded by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who led the 26 states in seeking to nullify the immigration policy. He said, “Rewriting national immigration law requires the full and careful consideration of Congress. This is the latest setback to the president’s attempt to expand executive power and another victory for those who believe in the Constitution’s separation of powers and the rule of law.”
For now, the lawsuit filed by the 26 states sits before a federal judge in Texas. The progress on the lawsuit was on hold while the request for rehearing was pending before the high court.
Future of the Proposed Immigration Policy Changes
The proposed immigration policy now awaits a new president. Hillary Clinton has said that she intends to revive the plan in another form and Donald Trump has said that it would not resurface.
The Supreme Court also turned down two rehearing petitions on other cases that emerged in tie votes after the death of Scalia. In those cases, however, new cases can be initiated to test the same constitutional provisions and statutes.
The high court’s decision affects millions of foreign nationals who are living and working in the U.S. If you or someone you know is facing the possibility of deportation, contact Lyttle Law Firm today. You can reach us at (512) 215-5225 or you can fill out our contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.