Wall Street Journal
By Jess Bravin
October 3, 2016
The Supreme Court Monday dashed President Barack Obama’s hopes of having his immigration plan reconsidered before he leaves office—turning down a White House request to try again to resolve the program’s legality after deadlocking 4-4 in June.
The Supreme Court’s tie-vote left in place a lower-court decision temporarily blocking implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program. The plan would provide work authorization to more than four million illegal immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful residents. A 26-state coalition led by Texas has sued opposing the plan.
Losing parties are entitled to ask the Supreme Court to rehear a case, but such requests almost never are granted.
In its July petition for rehearing, the Justice Department sought to put the case back on the docket in the hopes the high court would get a ninth justice who would be able to break the tie.
Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, leaving the court short-handed—and equally balanced between conservatives and liberals.
Senate Republicans have kept a promise to deny consideration of Mr. Obama’s nominee for the high-court vacancy, U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland, leaving little prospect of a ninth justice taking the bench before the president’s term expires.
Assuming proceedings continue through the lower courts, the immigration case could return to the Supreme Court, perhaps as early as next year. Political events, however, could overtake the litigation. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has pledged to crack down on illegal immigrants and cancel Mr. Obama’s plans for lenient treatment of those with significant ties to the U.S. Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has said she would go further than Mr. Obama’s immigration plan.
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