The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Joe Biden’s administration a big victory in a key case that has been closely watched for months.
In an 8-1 ruling, the nation’s highest court ruled that GOP-led states do not have standing to challenge a policy narrowing federal immigration enforcement. The justices ruled that Republican states did not have the legal right to challenge a narrowing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement priorities regarding deportations and arrests of illegal immigrants.
“Supreme Court upholds provision of federal law that prohibits encouragement of illegal immigration
The ruling is a major victory for President Joe Biden and the White House, who have consistently argued the need to prioritize who they detain and deport given limited resources. By ruling against the states, the court tightened the rules concerning when states may challenge federal policies with which they disagree,” CNN reported.
Justice Samuel Alito was the only justice to dissent. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion.
“In Sum, the States have brought an extraordinarily unusual lawsuit,” Kavanaugh wrote, in an opinion joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. “They want a federal court to order the Executive Branch to alter its arrest policies to make more arrests. Federal courts have not traditionally entertained that kind of lawsuit; indeed, the States cite no precedent for a lawsuit like this.”
Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett, wrote a concurring opinion that concluded that the states also lacked reasoning, but for different reasons than the majority opinion.
“At the heart of the dispute was a September 2021 memo from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that laid out priorities for the apprehension and removal of certain non-citizens, reversing efforts by former President Donald Trump to increase deportations,” CNN reported.
“In his memo, Mayorkas stated that there are approximately 11 million undocumented or otherwise removable non-citizens in the country and that the United States cannot apprehend and seek to remove all of them. As such, the Department of Homeland Security sought to prioritize those who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security,” the outlet added.
This is the second big ruling this week involving the Biden administration.
In a separate case, the justices banded together to issue a 9-0 ruling to limit “the reach of the federal Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, unanimously rebuffing the Biden administration’s efforts to prosecute a man already convicted of Medicaid fraud with a separate charge of aggravated identity theft arising out of the same fraud case.”
The ruling, Dubin v. United States, was authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion. The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act mandates a two-year prison sentence for violations.
When President George W. Bush signed the law in 2004, he said it established the federal “offense of aggravated identity theft” to ensure that someone convicted of that crime would receive jail time “for stealing a person’s good name.”
“These punishments will come on top of any punishment for crimes that proceed from identity theft,” Bush said then, adding it “raises the standard of conduct for people who have access to personal records through their work at banks, government agencies, insurance companies, and other storehouses of financial data.”
However, the Supreme Court rejected the argument put forth by the U.S. Department of Justice that petitioner David Fox Dubin was automatically guilty under the act due to the inclusion of the patient’s Medicaid reimbursement number as a “means of identification” on a fraudulent Medicaid billing form.
Dubin held the position of managing partner at PARTS, a company based in Austin, Texas, which was established by his father, licensed psychologist William Dubin. Both individuals were convicted by a U.S. district court for their involvement in a scheme to defraud the Medicaid program in the Lone Star State.