On Thursday, a 4-4 Supreme Court split on the question of whether the President of the United States has the unilateral ability to suspend immigration law based on his prosecutorial discretion. That leaves in place a lower court decision knocking down President Obama’s wild immigration overreach – and justifies Republicans’ resistance via lawsuit against Obama’s immigration tyranny.
Unless Obama simply ignores it.
Which he probably will.
The dirty little secret of the Obama administration and the Supreme Court is that the ratchet only works one way: if the Supreme Court rules in Obama’s favor, the executive branch moves with alacrity to enforce -- but if the Supreme Court disagrees, Obama will do what he wants. After all, he ignored the Constitution once to push his agenda. Why not ignore the Supreme Court’s interpretation of that anachronistic document?
That’s the pattern from the Obama administration. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA could not utilize the Clean Air Act to restrict coal-fired power plants. The White House simply pretended the decision didn’t exist, with Josh Earnest stating, “There is no reason that this Court ruling should have any impact on the ability of the Administration to develop and implement the Clean Air Plan.” They did the same thing in 2013 when they ignored a decision taking power from the federal government over state election law in order to sue Texas over its voter ID law.
Does anyone really think the Obama administration will now take affirmative steps to begin deporting those he exempted from deportation? Of course not. He might be stopped by Congress from presenting those he wants to give amnesty from receiving documentation. But illegal immigrants now know that they can enter the country and simply wait for a Congress that will help them out.
All of which should show that the Supreme Court, in the end, doesn’t have anything like the power Americans believe it has. If the executive branch ignores it, nothing happens. If states ignore the Supreme Court, unless the executive branch is willing to utilize force to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision, nothing happens. The Supreme Court is easily the least powerful of the branches of government – and that’s never more true than when they’re attempting to tell Democrats to stop violating the Constitution.