Speaker Paul Ryan (R-OH) proved again today that the effort to block President Obama’s executive action through the courts is, in fact, based in partisan politics. Republicans at all levels are relying on the courts to do what they could not accomplish through the legislative process, via Elise Foley:
“This is a very extraordinary step. In fact, it has never been done before,” Ryan said at a press conference after meeting with GOP members, adding the “executive amnesty is a direct attack on” Congress’ powers to legislate.
With this move, House Republicans join GOP Governors and Attorneys General from 26 states — and the entire 2016 GOP presidential field:
The programs are currently at a standstill because of a lawsuit from 26 states, led by Texas, that is set for consideration at the Supreme Court. Justices asked lawyers from the federal government and the states to address whether Obama violated the Constitution’s “take care” clause, even though lower courts had not ruled on that matter…Every Republican presidential candidate has vowed to end Obama’s deportation relief programs, including one already in effect for young people who came to the U.S. as children, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Chief Justice John Roberts recently stated his concerns that the Supreme Court has become politicized. The Texas immigration lawsuit is a prime example of this trend. As Linda Greenhouse noted recently in her column, The Supreme Court vs. the President:
This is a case that should have been tossed out of Federal District Court in the first instance. Instead, its stakes are now heightened enormously. If the justices approach their task as judges and not as politicians, the administration will easily prevail. It is the Roberts court that now needs to take care.
Writing at SCOTUSblog, Kevin Johnson and Mabie-Apallas from UC Davis School of Law. SCOTUSblog, made a similar point:
Immigration reform is a contentious policy issue best left to the political branches of government. The litigation in this case in fact is part of a larger political struggle. Some political actors disliked the Obama administration’s discretionary policy judgment and went to federal court to stop that policy from being implemented (a ploy that apparently could not have been secured through Congress). The use of the federal courts as a political weapon in a national debate was precisely what the framers of Article III of the Constitution sought to prevent.
Paul Ryan demonstrated today that this is about a “larger political struggle.” He and his Republican colleagues are hoping the Courts will do the work of legislators. If the Supreme Court follows the law, that won’t happen despite this aggressive effort by GOP candidates, Governors, Attorneys General and Members of Congress.