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Obama To Take Immigration Battle To Supreme Court After Yet Another Legal Setback

President Obama’s push to shield non-violent immigrants from deportation has run into some trouble this year. 

Back in May, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that an executive order on immigration designed to prevent the deportation of undocumented immigrants would remain on hold in the face objections from no less than 26 Republican state governors. 

As we said at the time, “this sets up a potential Supreme Court case which could end up pushing a final ruling on the matter into mid-2016, an outcome that would almost certainly cause the issue to become even more of a political hot button than it already is.”

That was before the rise of The Donald.

In other words, we had no idea how right we were.

The GOP sees Obama’s executive order as an example of executive overreach (which some lawmakers claim has become a defining characteristic of the administration) while The White House says it is by no means out of bounds for the President to ask Homeland Security to exercise an appropriate level of discretion prior to deporting immigrants with US family connections. 

Following the setback, we noted that Obama would attempt to make a stronger case for the overhaul but we also said that route jeopardized the program’s implementation because regardless of whether the President won on appeal, the case could eventually end up before the Supreme Court anyway, setting up the difficult proposition of attempting to create a complex bureaucratic infrastructure with a Lame Duck commander in chief. 

Well sure enough, the High Court it will be. Here’s The Times:

President Obama will ask the Supreme Court to clear the way for his long-delayed immigration overhaul, administration lawyers said Tuesday, setting up another high-stakes legal contest in the nation’s highest court over the fate of one of the president’s signature achievements.


The Department of Justice said in a statement that it will appeal a federal appeals court ruling that blocked Mr. Obama’s plan to provide work permits to as many as five million undocumented immigrants while shielding most of them from deportation.


“The Department of Justice remains committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible in order to allow DHS to bring greater accountability to our immigration system by prioritizing the removal of the worst offenders, not people who have long ties to the United States and who are raising American children,” said Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the Justice Department. “The Department disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court of the United States. “


A ruling from the Supreme Court, which could come by next summer, is likely to be the last chance for Mr. Obama to begin carrying out the plan — known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans — before handing the presidency to his successor in 2017, possibly to a Republican who could refuse to move forward.


On Monday, a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled 2-1 against the administration, keeping in place a ban on the president’s actions that was imposed by a federal district court judge in Texas last February.

And a bit more from Politico:

Obama's latest round of executive actions has been on hold since February, and delay in the issuance of the appeals court's ruling was raising doubt about whether the Supreme Court would have an opportunity to resolve the case in time to allow Obama to move forward with the programs before leaving office. 


The release of the 5th Circuit decision Monday appears to allow the Supreme Court enough time to take up the dispute this term, if the justices choose to wade into the issue. A favorable Supreme Court ruling would permit the administration to implement the executive actions next summer.

The stage is thus set and this means that if Trump gets the GOP nomination, you'll be in for some real fireworks surrounding any SCOTUS decision on Obama's immigration stance. 

Of course everyone pushing for wholesale deportation may want to be careful, because after all, there's jobs growth to worry about...