TODAY: Supreme Court Hears Immigration Case

At this writing hundreds of immigration activists are demonstrating outside the Supreme Court as justices prepare to hear oral arguments in the Texas-led case that seeks to overturn President Obama’s executive order preventing the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. CNN reports:

Critics of Obama’s moves say they are part of a pattern of the White House looking to go around the Republican Congress. “Basically the President has stepped in and taken over what normally would be associated with Congress,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in an interview. “Congress makes the laws.”

The GOP Congress will be involved at oral arguments as well. The House of Representatives, in an unusual move, intervened in the case against the administration, and will have 15 minutes before the eight justices to argue its case Monday.

That only eight justices are hearing the case — due to the death in February of Justice Antonin Scalia — could impact the final result. A split court between the four Democratic-appointed justices and four GOP-appointed justices would mean the programs remain blocked and the case is sent back to the district court in Texas that blocked them in the first place.

For the administration, a key argument before the court is to say that the states do not have the legal right to bring the case in the first place. If it can convince a majority of justices on that issue, the court may not even get to the merits of the immigration debate.

Should it win on that count, the injunction would be lifted, and the programs would be able to go into effect during the final months of the Obama presidency.

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) targets the nearly 4.3 million undocumented parents of citizens and lawful residents, and the second rule expands Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), initiative aimed at non citizens who came to the country as children.