On Thursday, the Supreme Court denied President Obama’s latest immigration plan. The court voted in a 4-4 tie, effectively a defeat for the Obama’s executive orders in question.
In a proposal Obama himself drafted in November of 2014, the president called for a new program that would grant “deferred action” status to illegal immigrants who are parents of legal citizens. This means that some illegal immigrants would receive temporary legal status and work permits.
By writing these orders, Obama assumed the power to write his own laws. The authority to write laws is only awarded to Congress. His actions sat in direct opposition to the system that was established to ensure separation of powers. It is clear that President Obama lacks the authority to protect millions of illegal immigrants. There is no one person in our nation that has the authority to make up a law.
So how did four out of eight Supreme Court Judges vote in approval of the proposal? Let me rephrase that: How did HALF of the Supreme Court Judges vote that they had the constitutional power to rule on a proposal drafted by the president HIMSELF?
When the supreme law of the land is more concerned with political associations than what is and is not constitutional, the supreme court ceases to be effective as a court. Instead, it becomes a mere extension of the current administration.
Because the outcome of this case doesn’t set a precedent for future rulings, it doesn’t prevent other future executive actions. It does, however, testify to the risk of a president acting without explicit authority from congress.
This situation is especially relevant in an election season. With an even split in idealogical sides, this ruling illuminates the importance of the next presidential candidacy. We are one seat away from letting the president act independently of Congress. We are one seat away from throwing away constitutional law.