High Court Appears Closely Divided Over Obama Immigration Order

US Supreme CourtHearing arguments in a case from Texas, the Supreme Court’s eight justices seemed perhaps evenly divided on Monday as they sharply questioned President Obama’s executive action to protect as many as five million immigrants in the United States from deportation.

The Washington Post said that “the court’s conservatives and liberals seemed split, and a 4-to-4 tie would leave in place a lower court’s decision that the president exceeded his powers in issuing the directive.”

The case is United States v. Texas, a challenge brought by 26 states. The New York Times reported that it “may produce a significant ruling on presidential power and immigration policy in the midst of a presidential campaign in which both issues have been prominent.”

It is one of the most widely watched cases before the high court this term, and with the millions of people who could be impacted, it drew heavy media coverage, including Dahlia Lithwick in Slate, “More Than Immigration at the High Court: The Supreme Court’s look at Obama’s executive action perfectly explains the Merrick Garland fight”; New York Times, “Focus on Chief Justice as Supreme Court Hears Immigration Challenge”; USA Today, “As Supreme Court battle looms, undocumented immigrants seek truce”; and Washington Post, “Legal decision could resonate most in immigration epicenter of Los Angeles.”