Judge Alito writes a solitary dissent in United States v. Texas

Samuel Alito. (Image via YouTube/The Heritage Foundation screenshot.)

Judge Samuel Alito was the only Friday to oppose the rest of the Supreme Court’s ruling that Texas and Louisiana lacked standing to challenge the ‘Civil Law Enforcement Guidelines’. Immigration” of 2021 from the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security.

The conservative judiciary raised complaints about the ‘radical executive power’ ‘endorsed’ by the majority led by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which included Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote an opinion concurring with the judgment, joined by Judge Clarence Thomas and Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett herself drafted an agreement in the judgment, to which Gorsuch joined.

The majority held in United States v. Texas that red state challengers lacked standing to pursue the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities.

“According to Texas and Louisiana, the arrest policy set forth in the Department of Homeland Security’s 2021 guidelines does not comply with the statutory arrest warrants of §1226(c) and §1231(a)(2) . The states want the federal judiciary to order the Department to change its arrest policy so that the Department arrests more non-citizens,” Kavanaugh wrote. “The preliminary question is whether States have standing to bring this action under Article III. The answer is no.”

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“On the contrary, this Court has already held that a plaintiff has no standing to bring such an action ‘where he himself is neither sued nor threatened with suit,'” summarizes the program of the case.

The majority of Kavanaugh concluded that the states “do not cite any precedent, history or tradition of federal courts entertaining such lawsuits.”

“To establish standing, a plaintiff must demonstrate an injury in fact caused by the defendant and remediable by court order,” Kavanaugh added. “The district court found that the states would incur additional costs because the federal government is not arresting more non-citizens. The monetary costs are of course an injury. But this Court “also emphasized that the alleged harm must be legally and judicially recognizable”. This “requires, among other things,” that “the dispute be traditionally considered resolvable through the judicial process” — in other words, that the alleged harm be traditionally remediable in federal court.”

The majority, however, said the court’s decision should not be taken to mean that federal courts “could never hear cases involving the alleged failure of the executive branch to make more arrests or prosecute more.” .

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Justice Alito hit back at the ruling, saying the majority ignored a “major precedent” to bolster “expanded executive power” even if the Biden administration’s policy “inflicts substantial harm” on Texas.

“The Court finds that Texas lacks standing to challenge a federal policy that inflicts substantial harm on the state and its residents by releasing illegal aliens criminally convicted of serious crimes. To reach this conclusion , the Court discards a major precedent that directly controls the issue of standing, refuses to apply our established test for standing, ignores factual findings made by the district court after a trial, and considers that the only limit to the power of a president to disobey a law as the material provision at issue is the power of Congress to employ the weapons of interprofessional warfare – withholding funds, impeachment and impeachment, etc,” Alito wrote. “I would not follow this unfortunate trail. I would simply apply the established law, which inevitably leads to the conclusion that Texas has standing.”

In conclusion, Alito said the Supreme Court’s decision amounted to both an endorsement of the “expanded executive power” and a denial of its “virtually unshakable obligation” to “exercise” jurisdiction in a matter like this- this.

This vast executive power endorsed by today’s ruling may first be warmly welcomed by champions of strong presidential power, but if presidents can stretch their powers as far as they can in a showdown with Congress, it may be supposed that Congress can reduce the executive power as much as it can wield the formidable weapons at its disposal. That is not what the Constitution provides.

I end with a final observation. The majority suggest that his decision repels an effort to convince us to “usurp” the authority of the other branches, but that is not true. Ante, at 3. We exercise the power conferred by Article III of the Constitution, and we must be careful not to exceed the limits of our constitutional role. But when we have jurisdiction, we have a “virtually unshakeable obligation” to exercise that authority. Dist. Colorado River Water Conservancy. vs. United States, 424 US 800, 817 (1976). Because the majority shuns this duty, I must respectfully dissent.

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