Promoting freedom, innovation, and growth

Connect with IPI

Receive news, research, and updates

June 23, 2016

The Supreme Court Just Slapped Down Obama's Immigration Power Grab

  Rare

The U.S. Supreme Court just slapped down Barack Obama’s power-grabbing hand, and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving president.

The Court’s 4-4 split decision leaves in place an earlier appeals court ruling that Obama does not have the authority to grant 4 million illegal immigrants amnesty. The executive order that Obama issued would have shielded those illegals from deportation and given them rights and benefits that would have cost the states and federal government billions of dollars.

In response to the ruling, Obama said, “Our founders conceived this country as a refuge for the world.”

Yes, but those same founders also conceived a country dedicated to the rule of law, and built on a separation of powers.

Obama was willing to undermine that separation of powers in order to get his way on immigration. But the Court’s decision is doubly important because Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said she would go even further than Obama did.

So maybe the Court slapped two hands at the same time?

House Speaker Paul Ryan responded to the ruling by saying, “The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws—only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers.”

Gee, so presidents have to follow the Constitution and work with Congress? They can’t just sit in the Oval Office and sign executive orders? Who knew?

For nearly eight years, Obama has assumed powers never granted or envisioned to him by our founding documents, and dared his critics to sue him if they disagreed. They did: some 26 states, to be exact.

And that’s not all. Multiple states have sued the administration on other issues, especially with respect to EPA overreach. And a federal judge recently upheld the House of Representatives’ suit challenging Obama’s decision to give taxpayer money to health insurers without Congress having ever appropriated the money.

To be clear, the Supreme Court didn’t win the day on this one, though it likely would have had Justice Antonin Scalia still been alive. The Court’s split decision means the highest appeals court ruling stands.

But the situation reaffirms just how important it is to have an independent judiciary that upholds the Constitution when our “constitutional scholar” in the White House won’t.


 

  • TaxBytes-New

Copyright Institute for Policy Innovation 2017. All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy Contact IPI.

e-resources e-resources