The Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge to Obama’s Immigration Actions

January 19, 2016, 7:41 PM UTC
Immigration Activists Rally In Front Of U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: About fifty pro-immigration reform demonstrators gathered for a rally outside the United States Supreme Court January 15, 2016 in Washington, DC. Organized by immigraiton advocacy group CASA, the demonstrators called on the Supreme Court to take up and overrule a lower court's ruling against President Barack Obama's 2014 immigration executive actions, including the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) guidelines. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Photograph by Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

The United States Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will hear a challenge to a far-reaching executive order on immigration that President Barack Obama issued in 2014.

The president’s order proposed to grant more than 4 million illegal immigrants possible protection from deportation and access to work permits through a program called “deferred action for parents of Americans and lawful permanent residents.” Obama’s executive action aimed to bypass Congress, then dominated by Republican party.

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Twenty-six states, including Texas, opposed the president’s move and sued to block it on the grounds that the president had abused his power. They won two rulings in lower courts: the first in a Texas-based district court in Feb. of last year, and the second in a New Orleans, La.-based appeals court nine months later.

Now the nation’s highest court has agreed to hear the case, United States v. Texas, No. 15-674. The court’s nine justices are set to reach a decision by end of June.

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Executive orders have become a popular tool for the White House to circumvent the legislative branch. The president most recently issued one to beef up gun control regulations.