Here we go again.
Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier court ruling that Barack Obama cannot skirt the Constitution and Congress by granting legal standing to millions of illegal immigration through programs such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (“DAPA”). In other words, there is no broad, blanket authority in the Executive Branch to “legalize” and grant work permits to individuals illegally residing in the United States. The White House and the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) used a little-known section of the Immigration and Nationalization Act, which authorizes the withholding of removal/deportation and the granting of work authorization to individuals in very, very limited situations, and attempted to apply it with no review to millions of individuals living and working in the United States with no permission.
In spite of assurances given to the district court, the Obama Administration continued earlier this year to grant such authorizations in violation of the court’s order. Both the district court and the Fifth Circuit ruled that Obama cannot unilaterally take the actions he has taken. DHS was forced to discontinue its violations of the court ruling.
Obama doesn’t care.
As we reported here last week, Obama continues to seek alternative ways to continue his controversial DACA and DAPA programs. Alternatives that include granting employment authorization documents (fancy name for work permits) to each and every person illegally present in the U.S.
Today, the Justice Department announced it will appeal the Fifth Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court. By filing its appeal now, the question may be heard this term. On such a short timeline, a Supreme Court decision could be announced next summer, setting up what may one of the most discussed issues of the 2016 election.
Obama has seen success in the Supreme Court on previous occasions. Remember Obamacare? That appeal ultimately turned a health care initiative into a nation-wide tax.
Will SCOTUS review the appeal? It is likely, as the question involves more than just immigration. The larger question is whether or not the Executive Branch possesses the ability to make and enforce its own laws, even in violation of current, existing law. Will the Supreme Court rule in favor of unlimited executive action. Good question; one we’ll have to wait until next summer to know. But, as demonstrated most recently in the Obamacare ruling, even conservative justices have indicated a willingness to jump in the fray and create new law.
Almost seems like a conflict of interest for the Supreme Court to determine if one branch of government can override Congress, when an affirmative ruling most definitely would benefit future desires of SCOTUS to do the same! But, we can discuss this another time . . .
As mentioned above, this issue, while about immigration, goes far beyond the issuance of work permits to the undeserving. It cuts to the heart of the ability of the Executive Branch to make its own rules when Congress will not cede to White House demands. Today, we have a Democrat president and a Republican-controlled Congress. But, in reality, the person who occupies the White House and the party that controls Congress do not matter.
JoVerity’s position and opinion is that no president has the authority to act without specific Constitutional, legal or judicial authority. And no president possesses the authority to act contrary to law ever. Ever.
So, what do you do? Act. If you agree with the President, sit back and enjoy the ride. If you disagree, then spread the word. Talk to your neighbors. Teach a civics lesson at the dinner table tonight. Sit down and watch the episode of Schoolhouse Rock that addresses this issue. Call your Senator or Member of Congress. Ask him/her to take action on their own. If you do nothing, you are suggesting that you agree with Obama and DHS that a president has more authority than specified in the Constitution or in federal law.