The Supreme Court of the United States 4-4 split ruling announced today seems to upend America’s legacy on immigration, giving a bit hit to President Barack Obama’s executive action to defer separation for some 4 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.
Ironically, the indecision of the high court’s one-sentence ruling stands for nothing, as it does not set a national precedent. But it does force that DACA + DAPA reform remain in limbo.
What is truly disheartening it that the dysfunction and paralysis of our “do nothing” Congress seems to have extended itself to Supreme Court. Inactive for nearly eight years on bills to create jobs, improve our infrastructure and more, Republicans and Democrats in Congress can’t even agree to hold confirmation hearings on proposed justice candidate, the honorable Merritt Garland.
President Obama responded to the court ruling in a press conference, in which Politico reports he had some sharp criticism of the court’s deadlocked position:
“Our founders conceived this country as refuge for the world. Welcoming wave after wave of immigrants kept us youthful and dynamic and entrepreneurial,” Obama said. “It has shaped our character and it has made us stronger. But for more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken. And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”
And so it seems the future of immigration as legal matter moving forward will now depend on the results of the November election.
Another ruling from SCOTUS announced today did garner praise for upholding the affirmative action program at the University of Texas. As TPM reports:
The Supreme Court voted 4-3 to uphold University of Texas-Austin’s affirmative action program. The majority opinion released Monday was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Clarence Thomas filed a dissenting opinion as did Justice Samuel Alito. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Thomas joined Alito’s dissent.
Alito’s 50-page dissent was highly skeptical of the University of Texas-Austin’s defense of the program while bashing the majority’s decision as “remarkable—and remarkably wrong.”
“When UT decided to adopt its race-conscious plan, it had every reason to know that its plan would have to satisfy strict scrutiny and that this meant that it would be its burden to show that the plan was narrowly tailored to serve compelling interests,” Alito wrote. “UT has failed to make that showing. By all rights, judgment should be entered in favor of petitioner.”
You can read the entire ruling here.
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