The Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the Obama administration, has petitioned the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision on the president’s immigration executive orders “before a full nine-member court.”
The court earlier tied 4-4 in reviewing a Texas federal judge’s injunction against the executive orders that would defer deportation and grant work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants, thus leaving the injunction standing.
Re-reviews by the Supreme Court are rare, but since the death of Antonin Scalia, the court has been one justice short, making tie votes not only possible but sometimes inevitable. Merrick Garland has been nominated to fill the vacancy (Garland, by most accounts, has never found a government regulation he didn’t like), but the Republican-held Senate has refused to hold hearings on the nomination before the upcoming presidential election.
As one legal scholar observed of the July 18 petition, “It doesn’t hurt to ask.”