House Speaker [mc_name name=”Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)” chamber=”house” mcid=”R000570″ ] announced last Tuesday that the House will vote on a resolution to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case challenging President Obama’s authority to grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal aliens without congressional approval. (Speaker Ryan Press Release, Mar. 1, 2016)
In a closed-door meeting, Ryan informed his House Republican colleagues of the decision to vote on filing an amicus brief in U.S. v. Texas, the 26-state lawsuit challenging Obama’s November 2014 executive actions on immigration. (Politico, Mar. 1, 2016; see FAIR’s U.S. v. Texas Resource Page) The high court agreed to hear the case in January and will decide whether to uphold the injunction blocking the DAPA and expanded DACA amnesty programs until the case is litigated on the merits. (FAIR Legislative Update, Jan. 19, 2016) The Court is expected to hear arguments in April and issue a ruling in June — just months before the 2016 presidential election. (Id.)
Ryan explained that an attempt to file an amicus brief on behalf of the entire chamber is an “extraordinary step” and something that “has never been done before.” Below are his full remarks on the upcoming vote:
“In the coming weeks, we will be taking our next step to stop the president’s executive overreach. The House will vote on whether to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court opposing the president’s executive amnesty. This is a very extraordinary step. In fact, it has never been done before.
“But this executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress’s Article One powers under our Constitution. This is a question between Article One and Article Two.
“The president is not permitted to write law — only Congress is. The House will make that very, very clear, and we will do so as an institution on behalf of the American people on behalf of representative self-government.”
The House decided to act only after the Supreme Court asked the parties to present arguments on a question beyond the three raised by the government in its petition for certiorari. (Politico, Mar. 1, 2016) The Court asked the parties to brief and argue whether DAPA and expanded DACA “violates the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, Art. II, §3.” (FAIR Legislative Update, Jan. 19, 2016) The Take Care Clause mandates that the president “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed” and House Republicans believe Obama breached his constitutional duty. (Id.)
The resolution is expected to pass when the House votes on it in the coming weeks.