The Supreme Court is back in session. Activity at the Supreme Court resumed yesterday with only eight justices. The Senate is keeping Merrick Garland waiting for his hearing so right now there are just eight sitting judges on the bench.
The Supreme Court has a new docket of cases to hear. Among the issues that the court is going to decide on are free speech, racial and ethnic bias. An interesting one is whether or not the Washington Redskins can keep using their name.
But one of the first things the court decided on was Barack Obama’s immigration plan. The Supreme court made the decision to not reconsider the President’s plan. President Barack Obama’s immigration plan would have protected undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The Supreme Court Gives a Final No
This Monday, the Supreme Court said no to reconsidering President Obama’s proposal to overhaul the country’s immigration system. The court had voted on the issue previously in June, but the vote was a tie. The Supreme Court’s vote blocked the implementation of the new immigration plan.
The order of the Supreme Court put an end to talk about Obama’s plan. Even as far back as a few months ago, it looked like there was little chance for the strategy to be implemented. The court could have waited for a ninth justice to be confirmed and seated on the bench. It could have then decided whether or not to rehear the case. With a new vote and nine justices there would have been the possibility of a different outcome. But the Supreme Court decided not to wait and prepared an answer right now.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was one of the leaders of a handful of states that wanted to invalidate the plan. He applauded the decision of the Supreme Court. Paxton said that rewriting and reframing national immigration law is something that requires “the full and careful consideration of Congress”. He called the Supreme court’s order another setback in President Barack Obama’s “attempt to expand executive power”. Attorney General Ken Paxton said this was “another victory for those who believe in the Constitution’s separation of powers and the rule of law”.
The Case for a Rehearing
The Supreme Court doesn’t usually agree to hear a case for a second time. But it has done so in the past when the decision was a 4-4 tie. On occasion, the death or retirement of a justice can leave the court tied. And that has been a reason to rehear a case in the past. In such situations, the court simply leaves the decision by the lower court the same and doesn’t set a national precedent.
Ian Gershengorn is Acting U.S. Solicitor General. He spoke in front of the Supreme Court in July on behalf of President Obama’s immigration plan. The plan makes an effort to protect several million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Also, it allows them to legally apply for work permits afterwards. Gershengorn argued that the immigration plan deserved a rehearing on the grounds of the large impact it would have on so many human lives. He affirmed that a federal appeals court that is divided on the issue should not have the last word when it comes to national policy. As such, the Supreme Court should formulate an opinion on the matter.
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