WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Obama administration wants to convince the Supreme Court to reconsider the decision in U.S. v. Texas, noting that nine justices must be present in the vote to finalize the ruling.
Acting Solicitor General Ian Heath Gershengorn filed a petition on July 19 in the Supreme Court of the United States against the State of Texas, et al. seeking the rehearing of the case before a full nine-member court. The petition cites Rule 44 as the basis for the request.
The recent decision of the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Texas affirmed the lower court’s decision to halt the executive action of President Barack Obama regarding immigration policies. However, issues arose in relation to the voting as one of the justices, Antonin Scalia, passed away. His death left only eight members of the court to decide on the issue.
The result of the Supreme Court deliberation was 4-4, giving those against the executive immigration plan of Obama the advantage since the lower court decided that this should be blocked. The law dictates that the deadlock means the justices must uphold the ruling of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which supported Texas.
The case originated in November 2014 when Obama announced his plans for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program. Under this project, illegal immigrants, who are parents of lawful permanent residents of the United States, are granted deferred action. However, DAPA was blocked by the courts following the request of 26 states.
In his petition, Gershengorn himself admitted that the possibility of obtaining a rehearing from the Supreme Court is “exceedingly rare.” However, he pointed out that the equally divided court was caused by a vacancy as opposed to a disqualification. Hence, the petition for a rehearing has a substantial basis for approval.
By Michelle de Leon for SE Texas Record
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