Senate Republicans File SCOTUS Brief Against Obama's Executive Actions on Immigration

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Apr 05, 2016 8:50 AM
Senate Republicans File SCOTUS Brief Against Obama's Executive Actions on Immigration

The fight to stop President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is far from over. Senate Republicans on Monday filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court contesting the president’s unilateral move, which the lawmakers say represent a “stark contravention to federal law.”

The amicus brief is a significant assertion from most members of the Senate GOP conference that Obama’s executive actions — whose future depends on the eight justices now sitting on the Supreme Court — should be ruled unconstitutional.

The key point from the nearly four dozen GOP senators who signed the brief is that Obama, through his immigration programs, is essentially making law from the White House, threatening the separation of powers laid out by the Constitution.

“There is little doubt that [Obama] adopted the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) program as part of an explicit effort to circumvent the legislative process,” the brief states.

Forty-three of the 54 members of the Senate GOP conference signed the brief, which was spearheaded by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Some of those who did not sign on are running for reelection in swing states.

In a letter last month McConnell urged his Republican colleagues to support the brief.

“Not only is the President’s blatant refusal to follow those laws an extraordinary and virtually unprecedented power grab, it is a direct attack on our constitutional order,” he wrote, reports Politico. “The Senate has a duty to ensure that the President faithfully enforces the laws that Congress enacts.”

The House also filed its own brief on Monday, arguing that, "neither any immigration law now on the books nor the Constitution empowers [Obama] to authorize—let alone facilitate—the prospective violation of those laws on a massive class-wide scale.”

Twenty-five states joined Texas in a lawsuit to stop Obama’s actions on immigration, which the Supreme Court agreed to take up earlier this year. Oral arguments begin April 18.