The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case on Monday that tests the boundaries of presidential powers, confronting the question of whether President Barack Obama exceeded his authority with unilateral action to spare millions of people in the country illegally from deportation.
The case, one of the most consequential of the court’s current term that ends in June, pits Obama against 26 states led by Texas that filed suit to block his 2014 immigration plan.
Remember Obama’s immigration speech from 2014?
The high court is evenly divided with four liberal justices and four conservatives following the February death of conservative Antonin Scalia. That raises the possibility of a 4-4 split that would leave in place a 2015 lower-court ruling that threw out the president’s executive action that bypassed the Republican-led Congress.
The arguments in the case come at a time when immigration is a divisive issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, with top Republican contenders advocating deporting all of the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally.