Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in immigration case tomorrow

Washington, D.C.  – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement in advance of oral arguments before the Supreme Court in a case challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration:

“The case of United States v. Texas is fundamentally about preserving the separation of powers and its outcome will have drastic implications for our Republic. All three branches of government have weighed in against President Obama’s unilateral actions: the lower courts have blocked them from being implemented, the House of Representatives has filed a brief opposing them, and the President himself stated over 20 times – before he took his unilateral action – that he does not have the authority to change our nation’s immigration laws on his own.  I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will stop President Obama’s lawlessness so that we protect the Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers that the legislative branch, which reflects the will of and is accountable to the American people, makes the laws, not the President.”

Background:

  • Before taking executive action on immigration, President Obama stated 22 times that he does not have the authority to change immigration laws on his own. On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced unilateral changes to the nation’s immigration laws, allowing potentially millions of unlawful immigrants to stay in the United States without a vote of Congress.
  • In December 2014, numerous states – led by the State of Texas – filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration, and Chairman Goodlatte and others signed an amicus brief submitted to the federal court in support of the states’ lawsuit.
  • On February 17, 2015, a federal judge temporarily blocked President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions. Following this decision, Chairman Goodlatte and other Members of Congress filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a continued injunction against President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration in the case of United States v. Texas.
  • On November 10, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction preventing President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration from being implemented. Following this decision, the Supreme Court announced that it would take up the case.
  • On March 17, 2016, the House approved H. Res. 639, a resolution allowing the Speaker to file a brief on behalf of the whole House of Representatives defending Congress’ Article I powers to write our nation’s laws. Watch Goodlatte’s floor speech on H. Res. 639 here. The House filed its brief on April 4, 2016.
  • Read Goodlatte’s November 2014 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the unconstitutionality of President Obama’s unilateral, unconstitutional actions here.