Political tensions were running high on Monday both inside and outside the U.S. Supreme Court, as the Justices heard arguments on whether states could try to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, and if the President had overstepped his authority in blocking the deportation of millions here in the U.S. illegally.
“Today means everything, today means the future of our country,” said Julissa Arce, who came to the U.S. illegally and at one time worked for Goldman Sachs.
Arce was one of hundreds of people outside the Supreme Court who were supporting the President’s immigration plans, as they clearly outnumbered those in opposition.
“If the Court doesn’t rule in our favor, that opens the gate for the states to sue the federal government any time they don’t agree with any policy,” Arce argued.
“This case shouldn’t have even made it this far,” Arce told me, as a documentary crew filmed her interviews with various reporters.
Inside the Supreme Court, the arguments were dominated by many of those same themes, as the Justices sparred with the Solicitor General over whether the state of Texas has the “standing” to sue over immigration, and whether the President went too far in allowing millions in the United States illegally to stay without the threat of being deported.
“I think it’s almost impossible to predict the outcome,” said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), after the arguments ended.
One outcome is a 4-4 division on the Supreme Court, which may leave in place lower court rulings which left the President’s immigration actions on hold.
“I hope it’s 5-3 sustaining the President,” Durbin added.
Republican lawmakers who attended the arguments were obviously hoping for a much different outcome.
“God help us if they are successful in convincing the Supreme Court that it’s time to ignore the law like never before,” said Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX).