• Brendan Kirby Obama’s Immigration Day of Reckoning

Oral arguments set for Monday in case that could have big impact on presidential race

The jewel of President Obama’s efforts to remake American immigration law takes center stage at the Supreme Court Monday, with an expected summer ruling, just months from Election Day, likely to reverberate through the presidential campaign.

At issue is Obama’s executive action shielding nearly 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation. A federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, ruled that 26 states that challenged the action were likely to win and ordered a nationwide ban on carrying out the program while the case proceeds through the courts. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision.

In an unusual move, the Supreme Court granted an expedited hearing, allowing for the potential of a sweeping ruling on the merits even before the case has been tried in lower courts. Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February added a heightened measure of uncertainty. With the court now evenly divided between liberal and conservative justices, a 4-4 split is a distinct possibility.

"This is going to put front and center how politicized this court is" if it does divide 4-4, said immigration lawyer John Miano. "The only thing that could explain it is politics." ... Read the full story by Brendan Kirby.

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