Obama-administration asked the Supreme Court for rehearing Immigration caseJuly 19, 2016 10:19
In the final attempt to revive a White House plan to protect more than 4 million immigrants from deportation, the Obama-administration have asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, to rehear a case on which the eight-member court was split 4-4 last month.
The high court decision of 23rd June, left a lower court ruling which blocked the plan, in its place, which has never been in effect. The court has been running in short of one justice since February, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia .
The Justice Department asked the court to take another look at the case, once it had a full complement of nine justices. It was not clear when that would be, because the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate had declined to act on Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, judge of appeals court . Even if the Supreme Court was to grant the request, it is unlikely to rule on the case until well after Obama leaves office in January.
Knowing that the high court rarely rehears cases, Acting Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn said that the immigration case was unique because the court could not take another case further, to resolve the issue if the plan was blocked. He wrote that the high court "should be the final arbiter of these matters through a definitive ruling,"
Obama revealed his plan in November 2014 which was challenged in court by Texas and 25 other states which argued that Obama had overstepped the powers given to him by the U.S. Constitution by transgressing upon the authority of Congress.
Marc Rylander, a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, "Because we are right on the law, we have prevailed at every stage in this case, and we are confident that we will continue to prevail.”
As a result of the high court's 4-4 split, a 2015 lower-court ruling which invalidated Obama's plan, was left in place. The plan was never implemented because the lower courts had blocked it.
According to that plan, nearly 4 million people, who lived illegally in the United States at least from 2010, without any criminal record and having children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, could get into a program that would shield them from deportation and give work permits.
Obama had taken the action after the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives killed bipartisan immigration legislation, which was passed by the Senate in 2013.
By Prakriti Neogi