CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES — The immigration case before the Supreme Court – United States v. Texas – will undoubtedly be affected by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Recall that the Obama administration wanted this case on the president’s controversial amnesty program – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) – heard by the Court sooner rather than later, petitioning the Court to not wait for a full hearing on the merits to be conducted by lower courts. It is now a possibility that this desire to have this case heard quickly may backfire on the administration.
As a result of a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states, President Obama’s controversial program is currently held up in the courts, enjoined from going forward by a preliminary injunction. Texas argued to the Supreme Court that it should not take the case and should instead wait for the lower courts to conduct a full hearing on the merits. The Obama administration argued that the Court should take it up because a delay would be harmful to the administration’s immigration enforcement (or non-enforcement) scheme. Politically, the Obama administration simply didn’t want the issue going into 2017 when a new president, perhaps a Republican president, would have the opportunity to appoint a new justice to the Supreme Court.