Affirmative Action Upheld, Executive Action on Immigration Struck Down

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The Supreme Court upheld affirmative action at the University of Texas today, but deadlocked on DAPA, President Obama’s executive action on immigration:

The Supreme Court handed President Obama a significant legal defeat on Thursday, refusing to revive his stalled plan to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and give them the right to work legally in this country. The court’s liberals and conservatives deadlocked, which leaves in place a lower court’s decision that the president exceeded his powers in issuing the directive.

What does this mean? A district court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction against DAPA, which was upheld by the appeals court and now by the Supreme Court. Or, to be more accurate, it wasn’t overturned by the Supreme Court. So it stays in place. But can an appeals court rule for the whole country? What happens if a similar case goes forward in, say, California, and the 9th Circuit rules differently?

We shall have to wait and see. Ruling against a president on immigration is unusual to say the least, so this case suggests either (a) Obama really was out on a limb with DAPA or (b) nobody cares very much about precedent or the law anymore. Liberals rule for Obama and conservatives rule against him, and that’s that. I’m not entirely sure which I believe.

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