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Last week, we began a new series excerpting some key sections from David Leopold’s recent post on Medium, “Yes, United States v. Texas Is Really An Epic Political Battle,” which provides some important analysis into the very political nature of this lawsuit. The Medium post contained very strong arguments and analysis from prominent legal minds, editorials and columnists and we’ll be highlighting excerpts over the next several weeks in the lead up to the April 18th Supreme Court argument in U.S. v. Texas.
As Leopold argued, Texas and the 25 other states seeking to halt DAPA and expanded DACA had no standing to sue the Obama Administration over immigration policy—”they have no business taking their challenge to DAPA and DACA expansion to court,” period. Texas and 25 states argued that they had the right to their claims — that it had standing — because DAPA and DACA+ would cost the state money by requiring them to issue driver’s licenses to qualified immigrants. But, as many argued, that’s a questionable claim—especially because it’s mainly an attack on how the President has decided to enforce the immigration law. The Supreme Court has already said in other cases that the President has broad authority when it comes to immigration enforcement—including the granting of deferred action.
Below is a second excerpt from “Yes, United States v. Texas Is Really An Epic Political Battle,” highlighting prominent Supreme Court observer Linda Greenhouse’s opinion piece, noting the ruling from Hanen “as cynical an exercise of judicial authority as I can remember” and casting serious doubts on the flimsy claims from Texas and the 25 other states.
After the Fifth Circuit upheld Hanen’s injunction, long-time NY Times Supreme Court reporter, now analyst, Linda Greenhouse, wrote on November 12, 2015:
The claim of Texas and its allies to standing is preposterous. The Fifth Circuit majority found that the state’s concrete injury lies in the fact that some 500,000 undocumented Texas residents would be entitled under the deferral program to obtain drivers’ licenses, and the state, which charges $25 for a six-year license, would lose “a minimum of $130.89” on each license. “Even a modest estimate would put the loss at several million dollars.” Hmmm. My own user-friendly state of Connecticut charges $66 for an ordinary driver’s license and offers undocumented immigrants a drive-only license (legal authorization to drive, but not to be used for identification) for a $72 fee. I guess the great state of Texas would rather fight the federal government than figure out how to balance its motor vehicle department’s books.
Greenhouse concluded her column by noting the challenge presented to Chief Justice Roberts and his colleagues at the Supreme Court:
In reviewing the decision, the Roberts court has a chance to demonstrate that it cares about principle more than politics. That’s the kind of energy the judiciary needs now.
We’ll soon see if principles actually do matter more than politics.