President Barack Obama attempted to circumvent the U.S. Congress and rewrite immigration law to grant amnesty to certain illegal aliens.
A deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court just ended his plans. The split ruling upholds a lower court ruling that the president doesn’t have the authority to write laws.
The Legislative Branch writes laws, and the Executive Branch enforces them.
The judgment could have significant political and legal consequences in a presidential election year highlighted by competing rhetoric over immigration. As the ruling was announced from the bench, pro-immigration activists filled the sidewalk in front of the court, some crying as the ruling became public. Critics of the policy touted the ruling as a strong statement against “executive abuses.”
Speaking Thursday from the White House, Obama said the split decision also underscores the importance of the current court vacancy and the appointment of a successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, to “break this tie.” So far, Senate Republicans have not considered Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
A coalition of 26 states, led by border state Texas, sued the federal government over the amnesty plan.