Jake Sherman and Lauren French
March 1, 2016
Speaker Paul Ryan announced Tuesday that the House will vote on a resolution to allow the chamber to file a brief in a Supreme Court case that tests the validity of President Barack Obama's immigration executive order.
Ryan (R-Wis.) told a closed meeting of House Republicans that the chamber will attempt to file a brief in U.S. v. Texas, which tests whether Obama's plan to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants is legal. A lower court halted the program. Ryan cautioned that this is an "extraordinary circumstance," according to a source in the room, and lawmakers should not expect that the House will intervene in every Supreme Court case.
"This is a very extraordinary step. In fact, it’s never been done before. This executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress’ Article One powers under our constitution. This is a question between Article One and Article Two," Ryan told reporters. "The president is not permitted to write law. Only Congress is. The House will make that very, very clear."
Paul Clement, the former solicitor general, is representing the House on a pro bono basis, according to a source familiar with the plan.
The House is getting involved only after the Supreme Court added a question to the case: whether Obama honored the Take Care Clause, which mandates that the president "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." House Republicans, of course, believe Obama ignored the law.
The House will try to secure time during the oral argument in front of the Supreme Court.
A source familiar with the plan said this is the first time the House has taken such a step.