Wall Street Journal
By Brent Kendall and Richard Rubin
March 1, 2016
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) on Tuesday said lawmakers will soon vote on a measure authorizing the House to file a legal brief in a Supreme Court case examining the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration.
Republicans have been vocal critics of the White House’s plan to defer deportation for millions of illegal immigrants. Lower courts have blocked his plan from going forward, and the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the issue in April, in a legal challenge brought by more than two dozen mostly Republican-led states.
A legal filing by the House would be in the form of a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the challenge to the administration’s policies.
A House vote is “a very extraordinary step,” Mr. Ryan said. “But this executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress’ Article I powers under our Constitution.”
Filing a legal brief in the immigration case would be the latest in a series of unusual legal moves by the House in litigation involving the Obama administration.
The House in November 2014 sued the administration over how it was implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act, and a judge last September said part of the lawsuit could proceed.
The House also intervened to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act in litigation after the Obama Justice Department in 2011 ceased defending the constitutionality of the law, which denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. The Supreme Court invalidated the law in the 2013 case U.S. v. Windsor.
Former House Speaker John Boehner had threatened to sue the president over his immigration initiative but, House Republicans haven’t done so, and other cases on the issue moved forward in the courts.
It is fairly common for members of Congress to file friend-of-the-court briefs in important Supreme Court cases, but the standard practice is for lawmakers to sign those briefs in their individual capacities.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com