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Constitutional Crisis? President Obama’s executive decision on immigration will end up in court

November 21, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Constitutional Crisis? President Obama’s executive decision on immigration will end up in court

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President Obama announced he will sign an executive order halting the deportation of 5 million people here illegally.

In a 15 minute nationally televised speech on Thursday, the President laid out his plan for granting temporary legal status and work permits for 5 million undocumented illegals.

The announcement has set off a firestorm with the incoming GOP senate majority and House, nixing any chance of bipartisan cooperation many had hoped would happen after the massive GOP victory in the Nov 7th elections.

Now, The battle over Barack Obama’s immigration plan looks to be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to the Washington Times, legal scholars are stating the president’s specific tactics in acting unilaterally could be a difficult challenge to defeat.

For months Republicans and Democrats have argued over whether the President has executive authority to decide whether certain immigrants face deportation.

However, the President’s use of his executive powers to revamp immigration enforcement of illegal immigrants facing other criminal charges and letting others have conditional work permits could be a losing battle in court.

Past presidents including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush have used executive authority in order to circumvent congress in order to enact their agenda.

The key point laid out by Mr. Obama’s decision is that the action is only temporary and can be reversed the next president.

Obama released a lengthy legal memo from the Justice Department to which enforce the legality of his actions.

The meme gives the President a road map on implementing  his plan without violating the Constitution.

The Washington Times quotes multiple legal experts in today’s article.

Constitutional law professor Josh Blackman points to the DOJ Legal Counsel’s 33-page opinion on the White House plan that identifies limits on the President’s prosecutorial discretion, but it does allow him to defer the deportation of about 4.5 million illegals.”

Kevin Johnson, dean of the University of California Davis School of Law and a widely recognized expert on immigration law, said that it is still too early to tell what constitutional solution may be available.

“From what I understand from the people who have been briefed it seems there isn’t much of a chance of the constitutional challenges prevailing,” he said.

“I think Congress and our immigration laws have given the President vast amounts of leeway in his discretion for enforcing the immigration laws in some ways as long as he doesn’t abuse the authority or enact ways that would be contrary to Congress in the Separation of Powers Act.

It would be difficult to defeat the President on a program he created,” he added,

Article II of the Constitution grants the President executive powers, however it states the requirements for him such as to faithfully execute the laws, this would pose a problem for Republican challengers arguing that the President is purposely avoiding upholding the laws of the United States.

The Washington Times correctly point out that the President is granted the implied power of using his discretion to expedite administrative policies within his administration as long as those policies are not deemed ‘executive lawmaking, which is writing law from the White House and superseding Congress.

Presidents are not allowed to write laws, their chief duty is to enforce the laws he is sworn to uphold the laws.

Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have also taken executive action on immigration. In 1986, President Reagan enacted policies that effectively granted legal status to 3 million immigrants and in 1990, President Bush implemented a “family fairness” program that shielded some illegals from deportation and allowed to seek employment if they were living with a legal immigrant and living in the U.S. prior to 1986.

The program covered an estimated 1.5 million people and President Bush’s changes were later adopted by Congress into federal law.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have already implied they will join a legal challenge against the new executive action.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court has checked the current administration, handing down three stinging defeats to the White House when it was deemed they acted unilaterally.

The justices rulings were not along party lines either. As a matter of fact they were unanimous in ruling against his administration with 9-0 decisions 20 times.

Whether the high court decides to hear the argument or not, one fact has arisen from Mr. Obama’s actions on immigration. First the country is witnessing a constitutional crisis, and having the court decide could damage the integrity of the process.

Second, this sets a dangerous precedent because a future Republican President can easily overturn the executive order and what comes around goes around, what will stop a future GOP President from enacting executive authority when not enforcing laws he may disagree with.

The circumstances couldn’t be more unsettling.

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