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SCOTUS to hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas

Today, all eyes will be on the Supreme Court of the United States, which will hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas, the case examining the constitutionality of President Obama's expansion of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program.

This proposed expansion of DAPA, which was accomplished via a 2014 executive order, calls for deportation relief and work permits to be extended to the more than four million adults whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents provided they have been in the country for at least five years and have no criminal record.

As we discussed in a previous post, this executive order was challenged by 26 states, all of which argued that 1) President Obama failed to provide the necessary notice and seek comments prior to his unilateral actions, and 2) Congress did not sanction such a move.

On the other side, the administration has consistently argued that 1) the President is delegated considerable discretion via the Constitution and immigration laws, and 2) the states lack standing to pursue the lawsuit given that they have not been injured by the executive order.

This case, which was already been the focus of considerable attention, has garnered even more with the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia, whose passing has created the distinct possibility of the justices reaching a 4-4 decision based on ideological differences.

The effect of a 4-4 deadlock would mean that the decision by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the President had exceeded the scope of his presidential authority under the constitution, an expansion of the ruling reached by a federal judge in Texas, would stand. However, no legal precedent would be created.

Experts are paying close attention to Justices John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy, as they say the former could be amenable to the Obama Administration's standing argument, while the latter was the author of the court's recent decision dismantling part of Arizona's draconian immigration law.    

Stay tuned for updates …

If you have questions or concerns regarding any immigration law matter, please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

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