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ICYMI: States’ Anti-Immigration Lawsuit Has Broad Consequences for Other Issues and the Role of Courts

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Ahead of SCOTUS Conference, Law Professors Lift Up the Ramifications of the Anti-DAPA/DACA+ Lawsuit and Call on Court to Step In

Washington, DC— Following a deliberate slow-walking by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year, all eyes are now focused in on the U.S. Supreme Court and whether or not they’ll take up the lawsuit, brought by 26 GOP governors with an agenda, challenging the President’s DAPA and DACA+ policies.

In the New York Times today, Amanda Frost and Stephen I. Vladeck, law professors at the Washington College of Law at American University, provide a cogent analysis of why this lawsuit could set a dangerous legal precedent for issues beyond immigration.  They argue that the Supreme Court should step in swiftly and rule against the states.  They write:

“If the harm suffered is so broad as to affect thousands or millions of people, then the proper recourse is to seek change through the political process, not the courts. If anything, this understanding holds even more true for states, which are especially powerful actors in our political system — and which are often suing, as in the immigration case, based on injuries to their residents.

“The lower courts ignored these principles when they allowed Texas to sue because the state might lose a minimal amount of money — a conclusion that portends a vastly expanded role of the federal courts in federal-state disputes. As the dissenting judge in the appeals court decision pointed out, any executive branch policy change would impose some administrative costs on states and would, on Texas’ theory, justify a lawsuit by any one of the 50 states.

“It is not difficult to imagine a future in which any and all executive branch decisions would first be brought before a federal court by whichever state attorneys general object to that policy.”

The full piece, entitled, “Limit State Access to Federal Court,” is a must-read and is available online here.

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