A coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, contends that President Barack Obama overstepped his constitutional powers when he issued an executive order deferring the deportation of millions of illegal aliens. The coalition also accuses the president of violating the Take Care Clause, which charges him to “take care” that laws are faithfully executed.
The coalition asked a federal court to temporarily blocked the amnesty plan, which the court granted. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case today. If the high court deadlocks, which seems likely, the lower court’s ruling against the president’s amnesty plan stands.
What swing-voter Justice Anthony Kennedy said today about the executive action might signal trouble for the president’s strategy to circumvent the U.S. Congress on the federal issue of immigration. From the Washington Times (emphasis added):
Outside the court, thousands of Hispanic-rights protesters rallied, demanding legal status from the courts and vowing political retribution on Congress — and Republicans in particular — if Mr. Obama loses his case.
Inside the courtroom, however, the argument was lower-key, with the justices sparring with lawyers over the tricky interplay between the law, federal regulations and Mr. Obama’s hopes of shielding most illegal immigrants from deportation.
“It’s as if the president is setting the policy and Congress is executing it. That’s just upside-down,” said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who is expected to be an important voice as the court decides what to do.