Numerous editorial boards slammed the Supreme Court’s “maddening” and “depressing” “nondecision” in United States v. Texas that upheld a federal court’s decision to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration that temporarily relieved millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The editorial boards blamed the impasse -- which “condemned” millions to “live in the shadows” -- on congressional Republicans’ obstruction of Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, as well as their failure to pass immigration reform.
Supreme Court Deadlocks On United States v. Texas, Blocking President Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration
Politico: Supreme Court Divides 4-4, Leaving In Place A Decision To Block Obama’s “Deferred Action” Program To Temporarily Relieve Undocumented Immigrants From Deportation. On June 23, Politico reported that the Supreme Court split on United States v. Texas, explaining that the “justices left in place a lower court order forbidding the president from launching a new program to grant ‘deferred action’ status to illegal immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders.” Effectively, “the Supreme Court has thwarted President Barack Obama’s drive to expand his executive actions on immigration by making as many as five million immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally eligible for quasi-legal status and work permits”:
The Supreme Court has thwarted President Barack Obama’s drive to expand his executive actions on immigration by making as many as five million immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally eligible for quasi-legal status and work permits.
By dividing 4-4, the justices left in place a lower court order forbidding the president from launching a new program to grant “deferred action” status to illegal immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders. [Politico, 6/23/16]
Editorial Boards Criticize Congressional Republicans For Their Failure To Pass Legislation and Impasse That Left The Supreme Court Short A Justice
Wash. Post: “Depressing” Supreme Court Outcome Is The Result Of “Misgovernance” And Refusal To Compromise By Congressional Republicans. The Washington Post editorial board called the Supreme Court outcome “depressing” because “millions of people remain condemned to live in the shadows.” The board pointed to congressional Republicans’ refusal to compromise on immigration reform, adding that “the icing on the cake of misgovernance” is their obstruction of Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. From the Post’s June 23 editorial:
What makes the outcome so depressing for the country, and such a standard-bearer for failed governance, is that as a policy matter, it shouldn’t be hard at all. Immigrants have been and continue to be, on balance, an overwhelmingly positive force for the nation’s social and economic health. It would be in their interest and the nation’s to regularize the status of workers and families who, as a practical matter, are not going away. There was a time when politicians of both parties understood this and actually came close to legislating a solution. But loss of nerve and an impulse to torpedo compromise in search of maximal political advantage put a solution out of reach, and here we are: Millions of people remain condemned to live in the shadows, and the U.S. economy cannot take advantage of the talents and energies of all the nation’s inhabitants.
House Republicans, though, refused to consider the compromise. Mr. Obama, after acknowledging limits on his authority to act alone, reconsidered in his frustration and ordered law enforcement to put millions of immigrants beyond the reach of deportation. Was he exercising prosecutorial discretion (common and constitutional) or practicing some combination of law-making and law-evading? Smart people could and did disagree.
The icing on the cake of misgovernance is the refusal of Senate Republicans to take up Mr. Obama’s nomination of highly qualified judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Their excuse was the upcoming presidential election, but their action essentially decrees that a president can exercise his constitutional authority to name judges for only three-quarters of his constitutional term. The result is an evenly numbered court prone to deadlock. [The Washington Post, 6/23/16]
NY Times: Supreme Court’s “Maddening” “Nondecision” Is Result Of “Refusal By Congressional Republicans” To Act On Immigration, Which “Leaves Millions In Limbo.” The New York Times editorial board lamented that the Supreme Court’s “maddening” “nondecision,” leaves millions of “people who might have been spared deportation ... stranded, vulnerable to arrest and unable to work legally.” The board blamed congressional Republicans’ “spite”, failure to pass immigration reform, and their obstruction of Garland’s nomination. From the Times’ June 23 editorial:
With a maddening 4-to-4 nondecision announced Thursday, the Supreme Court failed to decide the fate of President Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration.
And so four million to five million people who might have been spared deportation remain stranded, vulnerable to arrest and unable to work legally. The impasse that made Mr. Obama’s program necessary — the absolute refusal by congressional Republicans to reform an unjust system — persists.
The case, United States v. Texas, should never have made it to the Supreme Court. But such is the power of the Republicans’ spite. Mr. Obama wanted to give temporary protection to unauthorized immigrants whose children are citizens or legal residents, and whose clean records made them very low priorities for deportation. It was a reasonable use of prosecutorial discretion, he argued, freeing up resources to deal with criminals and security threats.
Republicans who have attacked Mr. Obama at every turn concocted a counterargument. They accused him of abusing his powers, violating administrative law and harming states that would incur incidental expenses under the program. A like-minded federal district judge in Texas blocked the program nationwide. [The New York Times, 6/23/16]
La Opinión: “The Ruling Represents A Triumph Of Inaction” By Congressional Republicans Forcing Millions To Remain In “Immigration Limbo.” The editorial board of La Opinión, one of the leading Spanish-language newspapers in the country, called the Supreme Court’s decision “a triumph of inaction” and slammed the Republican-led Congress saying it “does not legislate or [let] anyone legislate; it only knows to block.” The June 23 editorial also blamed the impasse on “the Republican-led Senate’s refusal to consider the judge nominated by the White House,” resulting in “Millions of people” remaining in “immigration limbo”:
The ruling represents a triumph of inaction, and shows the way the current legislative stalemate has reached the High Court. House Speaker Paul Ryan said to be satisfied with this confirmation that it is Congress and not the President who makes the laws. However, the Congressman did not assume responsibility for being the leader of a House of Representatives that seems to be incapable of passing essential laws such as immigration reform. due to its own Party’s internal divisions.
This is why today Congress enjoys the poorest reputation in history. It does not legislate or lets anyone legislate; it only knows to block.
It is now in the hands of the electorate to elect a president in November who will make a commitment to appoint a Supreme Court Justice with a more favorable outlook on immigration. [La Opinión, 6/23/16]
LA Times: Supreme Court’s Nondecision Due To Congressional Republicans Who “Won’t Address Immigration Reform” And Have “Paralyzed A Divided” Court. The LA Times editorial board blamed the Supreme Court’s “nondecision” on “Senate Republican leadership’s refusal to consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.” The board wrote that “the dashed hopes of more than 4 million immigrants living in fear of deportation” is the result of “a Republican-led House that won’t address immigration reform, a Republican-led Senate that has paralyzed a divided Supreme Court, and a Republican presidential candidate who wants to deport 11 million people (among other outlandish ideas).” From the LA Times’ June 23 editorial:
Here is a real-world consequence of the Senate Republican leadership’s refusal to consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court: the dashed hopes of more than 4 million immigrants living in fear of deportation.
Thanks to yet another 4-4 deadlock among the justices Thursday, Obama’s “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents” will still not go into effect, and the immigrants who would have been protected by it will not, at least for the moment, be permitted to remain in the United States legally. The court’s nondecision doesn’t kill the program — it still could take effect if the administration prevails, as we hope it will, in court. But that could be years away.
Obama’s plan to allow the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents some breathing room — provided they have been here at least five years and have no legal entanglement that would make them ineligible — is a sensible stop-gap approach. But while we wait for it to work its way through the courts, we have a Republican-led House that won’t address immigration reform, a Republican-led Senate that has paralyzed a divided Supreme Court, and a Republican presidential candidate who wants to deport 11 million people (among other outlandish ideas). Elections matter. [LA Times, 6/23/16]