- - Monday, July 4, 2016

Last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Texas, et. al. underscores the importance of the makeup of the Supreme Court, and reminds us why the GOP must maintain control of the Senate after this year’s elections. After all, does anyone doubt that the ruling would have been very different had President Obama’s liberal pick, Merrick Garland, been confirmed to the bench months ago?

The Supreme Court split 4-4 in U.S. v. Texas, the case that challenged President Obama’s executive action to grant virtual amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Back in November, the Fifth Circuit upheld by a 2-1 majority a Texas federal judge’s injunction that blocked implementation of President Obama’s “deferred action” program. Last week’s split decision by the Supreme Court means the Fifth Circuit’s decision will stand, and that President Obama’s executive amnesty program must stop – a huge win for opponents of President Obama’s unilateral actions.

While the Obama Administration makes the claim that the “non-enforcement” of our immigration laws poses no burdens to states or to American citizens, Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen and the Fifth Circuit disagreed. The appeals court determined that the non-enforcement of our immigration laws “would affirmatively confer ‘lawful presence’ and associated benefits on a class of unlawfully present aliens.” The budgetary impact for Texas and other states of President Obama’s rejection of our immigration laws is, of course, enormous. It’s appropriate for states to be on guard against Obama’s expansive view of the federal government that often leaves states footing the bill.

The “deferred action” program, which President Obama unilaterally put into place, was a massive amnesty for illegal immigrant parents of U.S.-born children. The program also expanded amnesty for illegal immigrants who came to the country before the age of 16.

The Left often defends President Obama’s unilateral executive amnesty program by saying it doesn’t really amount to true amnesty. But Americans aren’t easily fooled, and understand that granting work permits, Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses to people who broke our immigration laws is, by definition, amnesty, no matter what the Administration wants to call it.

Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants – thus making a mockery of our immigration laws – is extremely unpopular with the American public, and both houses of Congress oppose it. That’s why the president decided to act unilaterally, simultaneously ignoring the will of the overwhelming majority of American people while trampling on Congress’s Constitutional responsibility to write laws. The president’s executive philosophy prioritizes expediency over the rule of law, so it’s easy to understand how frustrated he must be with the Constitution’s separation of powers – which are nothing more than an inconvenience to him.

For an overreaching executive who skirts Congress, a rubber-stamping Supreme Court is a necessity. Our system of checks and balances, in which each of the three branches of government works to hold the other two branches in check, is a serious roadblock to President Obama’s preferred executive style of issuing edicts and diktats. And that’s why getting Merrick Garland confirmed to the Supreme Court has been such a top priority for the president and for the Left.

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because Garland could be trusted to be a reliable vote for the president’s agenda. Make no mistake about it: President Obama carefully selected Merrick Garland and has full confidence that a Justice Garland would vote in agreement with his other two nominees – Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

At Tea Party Patriots, our grassroots activists have been working for the past several months to block the confirmation of Merrick Garland. We have conducted nationwide petitions, letter-writing campaigns to the editors of local papers, and called and visited Senate offices to let every Senator know why we are so opposed to confirming a third Obama nominee to the Court. And we’ve heard from millions of Americans who do not want the balance of the Supreme Court to shift in a more liberal direction.

Senate Republicans have listened to us and have done their Constitutional duty by declining to hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominee. As we have noted consistently over the past few months, the Senate’s role in the confirmation process of presidential nominations necessarily allows the Senate to take a pass on certain nominations, especially during a president’s last year in office.

The Constitution is front and center during this battle over the Supreme Court, thanks, in large part, to the Senate Republicans’ efforts. These Senators have made the principled decision that our nation’s Founders knew exactly what they were doing when they empowered the Senate to provide a check on the President’s appointment authority.

The Senate GOP should be thanked for its courage to stand strong. The best way Americans can thank the Senate Republicans for their commitment to the Constitution? November’s elections are a great way to say “thank you” and to ensure that the Supreme Court is protected next year.

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