US top court gives Texas more time in immigration case

WASHINGTON, Dec 2:    The US Supreme Court gave Texas more time to file court papers in its legal dispute with the federal government over President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration in a move that would still allow the justices to decide the case during their current term running through June.   Twenty-six Republican-governed states led by Texas sued to stop Obama’s 2014 plan to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. Lower courts blocked the executive action, prompting the Justice Department to launch an appeal to the Supreme Court on Nov. 20.   Texas had asked for 30 days in addition to the usual 30 days to file its brief in response. The court granted eight extra days. If the court had given Texas all 30 days, a decision in the case could have been delayed until after Obama leaves office in January 2017.   The justices will decide whether to hear the case after receiving the response from Texas. If they take it up, it would become one of the centerpiece cases of the court’s term, along with a challenge to a restrictive Texas abortion law.   The Obama administration argued Texas and the other states had no legal basis to challenge Obama’s action. The states contended Obama overstepped his presidential powers by bypassing Congress and acting unilaterally. Obama’s executive order would let up to 4.7 million illegal immigrants live in the United States without threat of deportation. It was directed at people with no criminal records whose children are US citizens. (agencies)


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