How Hillary Clinton Could Be The One To Save President Obama's Immigration Plan

A deadlocked Supreme Court decision Thursday shut down President Barack Obama's executive action to defer deportation for some undocumented immigrants. But could presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton save Obama's immigration plan? With the nomination of Merrick Garland stalled by Republicans and the late Antonin Scalia's seat still vacant, the Supreme Court justices split 4-4 in their ruling on United States v. Texas, leaving a lower court's verdict to block the president's executive order in place. The case highlights how impeded a hobbled Supreme Court can be, and has left many wondering if Obama's immigration policy can be renewed, should Clinton win the general election and nominate a ninth Supreme Court justice before an appeal drops the case before the high court again.

Texas led a coalition of 26 states in challenging a series of executive actions Obama signed in 2014 which aimed to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation if they are the parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders. The states have argued that the president should not have "a blank check" when it comes to granting legal status, and that his executive actions were "an abuse of the president's power." Two lower courts ruled to shut down Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents plan (DAPA) and his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan (DACA) last year.

Clinton called the tied decision "unacceptable" and "purely procedural" in a statement released Thursday, in which she reiterated her support of the president's immigration policies and railed against Republican efforts to stall the confirmation of a ninth justice.

Today’s deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and show us all just how high the stakes are in this election. As I have consistently said, I believe that President Obama acted well within his constitutional and legal authority in issuing the DAPA and DACA executive actions. ... But in addition to throwing millions of families across our country into a state of uncertainty, this decision reminds us how much damage Senate Republicans are doing by refusing to consider President Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Our families and our country need and deserve a full bench, and Senate Republicans need to stop playing political games with our democracy and give Judge Merrick Garland a fair hearing and vote.

United States v. Texas undoubtedly throws the issue of Scalia's vacant Supreme Court seat back into the election spotlight with the potential to seriously impact what goes down at the polls. As part of her campaign, the presumptive Democratic nominee has vowed to "defend President Obama's executive actions to provide deportation relief for DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents." An inspired (and fired-up) voter base eager for immigration reform could drive up Democratic voter turnout, and with it, Clinton's shot at the White House — meaning this might not be the last we'll see of Obama's immigration policies.