The U.S. Supreme Court split 4-4 over a challenge to President Barack Obama’s immigration policy, which sought to shield millions living in the United States illegally from deportation.
The justices’ one-sentence opinion on Thursday effectively kills the plan for the duration of Obama’s presidency.
A tie vote sets no national precedent but leaves in place the ruling by the lower court.
President Obama reacted to the ruling, saying the tie vote is a consequence of the Senate not holding confirmation hearings on his choice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.
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“We have to decide if we tolerate system where workers who pick our fruits or make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law,” he said.
This was one of the boldest executive moves of his two terms, born out of frustration with Congress after members failed to pass immigration reform.
“To fix this effectively, Congress must pass a law,” he said
The president says the ruling will not affect his administration’s deportation priorities. He said long-time, law-abiding immigrants in the U.S. illegally should not fear deportation.
The American Center for Law & Justice said the court’s decision on the president’s executive order on immigration represents “a major blow to President Obama and an important victory for the separation of powers.”
“An equally divided Supreme Court keeps a federal injunction blocking President Obama’s unlawful executive order on immigration in place and underscores what we have argued all along: impatient presidents don’t get to change the law,” Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, said.
In an amicus brief filed with the high court, the ACLJ argued that Obama’s action “changes the law and sets a new policy, exceeding the executive’s constitutional authority and disrupting the delicate balance of powers.”
Also today, in a 4-3 decision, justices upheld affirmative action at the University of Texas.
In this case, Abigail Fisher sued the university for using race as a factor in college admissions. The case also challenged the Top Ten Percent law that lets universities allow admission automatically to students who graduate in the top 10 percent .
Fisher was not in the top 10 percent of her high school, but argued that race was a major factor in her not receiving admission to UT Austin.
The decision states that race as a factor is not about minority student numbers but for “educational benefits that flow from student body diversity.”
The University is reviewing the opinion and is expected to publicly respond to the decision.
Report via CBN News
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