U.S. Justices Take No Action on Obama Immigration Case

Lawrence Hurley, Reuters, January 15, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday took no immediate action on whether it will hear President Barack Obama’s bid to revive his plan to shield more than 4 million immigrants from deportation, a move that bypassed the Republican-led Congress.

The case was not on the list of new cases the court agreed on Friday to take up. The court could make an announcement next week on whether it will hear the immigration dispute. If the justices hear the case it would become one of the centerpiece cases of its current term, which runs until June.

Obama’s 2014 executive action, taken after Congress failed to pass bipartisan immigration legislation, was blocked by lower courts after Texas and 25 other Republican-governed states sued to stop it, contending he exceeded his presidential powers under the U.S. Constitution.

The justices must decide whether to take up the administration’s appeal of a November ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a February 2015 decision by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, a city along the Texas border with Mexico, to halt Obama’s action.

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Should the justices opt not to hear the case, Obama’s program would be effectively dead, with Obama’s term in office ending in January 2017.

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