The Corner

Law & the Courts

Supremes to Hear Amnesty Case

The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the 26-state challenge to Obama’s DAPA amnesty for illegal aliens who have U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident children. Arguments are expected in April, with a ruling likely in June, in the middle of the presidential campaign.

The District Court issued an injunction against proceeding with the amnesty, based on narrow procedural grounds. The Fifth Circuit upheld the injunction, and went further by actually ruling that the amnesty is illegal. The Supreme Court has said it will also consider the constitutionality of the president’s decree, i.e., whether he has violated the requirement that he “take care” that the laws be faithfully executed.

The administration and the anti-borders groups (but I repeat myself) are applauding the Court’s decision to take the case not because they’re sure of victory, despite their rhetoric, but because Obama’s amnesty decree could turn into a pumpkin at noon on January 20, 2017. If a Republican is sworn in as president without the DAPA amnesty having been implemented, it’s virtually assured that one of the first things he’ll do it cancel it. But if the Supremes allow the administration to start processing amnesty applications, all other immigration processing and enforcement will be halted in a frantic push to give out as many work permits as possible before January. Because if four illegal aliens are improperly given work permits, Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses, taking them away is easy. But if four million illegal aliens receive that kind of amnesty, it becomes very difficult to reverse.

In the end, of course, this matter – like all important questions in our society – will be decided not on “law” but on what Justice Anthony Kennedy had for dinner the night before.

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