Supreme Court Tie Blocks Obama Immigration Plan

Supreme Court Tie Blocks Obama Immigration Plan, by Adam Liptak and Michael Shear in the NY Times. In 2014 an executive action by President Obama would have allowed as many as five million unauthorized immigrants, who were parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents, to stay and work in the US legally. The executive action was challenged by 26 states, saying it overstepped presidential powers and needed to be an act of Congress (Congress refused to pass such an order).

The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it had deadlocked in a case challenging President Obama’s immigration plan, effectively ending what Mr. Obama had hoped would become one of his central legacies. …

The 4-4 tie, which left in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan, amplified the contentious election-year debate over the nation’s immigration policy and presidential power.

When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in January, it seemed poised to issue a major ruling on presidential power. That did not materialize, but the court’s action, which established no precedent and included no reasoning, was nonetheless perhaps its most important statement this term.

The decision was just nine words long: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.”