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Three Key Points to Remember After SCOTUS Immigration Deadlock in U.S. v Texas

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Below are three key points to remember about today’s 4-4 split at the Supreme Court in the U.S. v Texas immigration case.

The Supreme Court did not rule against the legality of DAPA/DACA+ today: Today’s 4-4 deadlock in U.S. v Texas means that the current Supreme Court could not reach a decision on the case and, as a result, set no national precedent about the legality of the executive action programs at question. Nonetheless, Republicans have been claiming that the ruling affirms that President Obama overstepped his constitutional authority. For example, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan claimed that “Article 1 of the Constitution was vindicated…this is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers.” That is simply inaccurate.

The legal fight is not over and today’s ruling should not be the end of this case.As we noted earlier today, the Obama Administration and the states hurt by Texas’ action should do everything in their power to rein in Judge Hanen and limit his preliminary injunction to just the 5th circuit states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi while allowing the executive action programs to proceed in other jurisdictions throughout the nation. Additionally, they should explore filing a motion for “re-argument” to have the entire case reconsidered after a ninth justice is confirmed. We will fight to leave no stone unturned in getting DAPA and DACA+ implemented wherever, and however, possible.

The politics behind U.S. v Texas – and the political stakes moving forward – are now clearer and more consequential than ever:U.S. v Texas has always been a political dispute – each of the 26 states party to the lawsuit are controlled by Republican governors; the challengers forum-shopped for a virulently anti-Obama judge and found one in Judge Andrew Hanen; each of the Republican presidential contenders and every sitting GOP Senate were opposed to these executive actions; and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan even manufactured a full House vote to support his filing of an amicus brief in the case. Yet the 4-4 ruling, with the deadlocked Court split along party lines, heightens and makes even more overt the political nature and stakes associated with the ruling. For millions of immigrant voters and allies, November’s elections not only mean a chance to vote against Trump, but also a referendum on the future of immigration actions and the chance to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a Justice who could break the partisan stalemate and help deliver relief to millions of families in the process.