President Obama’s most over-reaching executive order — one aimed at giving quasi-legal status to more than 5 million illegal immigrants — is about to get a more thorough going-over than this administration ever counted on.
The president’s 2014 unilateral actions expanding the so-called Dreamers Act and effectively legalizing the parents of those young people along with parents of any citizen or legal resident will now come before the U.S. Supreme Court in April, with a decision expected in June.
A case brought by Texas and joined by 25 other states has thus far successfully halted implementation of the president’s orders. But the Obama Justice Department wasn’t about to put up with the 2-1 decision of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which held Obama’s actions were unlawful. Hence the appeal, which the high court agreed this week to hear.
However, in accepting the case, the court upped the ante, adding one more question to the list they expected to hear argument on — that of whether Obama’s actions violated the constitutional mandate requiring the president to “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
So this will be no mere technical challenge as to whether states have standing to sue and contest the federal policy, or whether the policy violated a formal comment period for regulations. The justices apparently want to go to the heart of the matter — whether this president violated his oath of office to “protect and defend” the Constitution by circumventing the will of elected lawmakers and by throwing the entire separation of powers clause out the Oval Office window.
To ask that question, to our way of thinking, is to already answer it. This final challenge to Obama’s disregard for the law comes, sadly, very late in the game. But perhaps it will serve as a cautionary tale for future White House occupants and a far too quiescent Congress.
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