Over the next weeks and months the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans will hear the appeal of Judge Hansen’s decision and the issue of whether Texas and the other plaintiff states have standing in the case will be one of the central issues. And apparently, the precedents do not look promising for Texas. Rulings by SCOTUS on Arizona’s attempts to give broader scope to it’s officials to enforce immigration law, rejected those attempts and instead confirmed broad discretion on the part of the federal government in executing immigration law. The cost that additional immigration arising from the amnesty – or DAPA in this case – will impose on states like Texas is not enough to give them standing according to much of the prevalent legal opinion. In other words, the White House – and Congress assuming it can eventually agree on some form of legislation, not even necessarily one that involves the dreaded “immigration reform” – will decide the how and when and why and the states will have to take care of the daily details of integrating illegals into the legitimate economy.

Why such disdain for the very real costs, in areas like education and health, born by the states most affected by illegal immigration? Aside from the natural tendency of the judiciary to jealously guard it’s ample territory, there seems to be some good old fashioned liberal hypocrisy at work here. As Daniel Fisher in his piece in Forbes points out, SCOTUS had no problem giving states standing when they sued the EPA over the costs of pollution. But apparently they do not have standing over the costs of immigration. In fact, judge Hansen deliberately pointed out a series of past rulings that do suggest that the states in fact bear the cost and responsibility of increased levels of immigration. In 1982’s Pyler vs. Doe the Supreme Court forced states to provide public schooling to children of illegals. It was a first step in providing an increasing number of state-paid benefits to illegal residents. And it clearly shows that states do bear the burdenoif illegal immigration. Any policy as massive as an amnesty for millions will deeply affect state budgets. But standing is a precious commodity doled out sparingly by an all powerful Supreme Court. The results of the appeal to the Fifth Circuit and likely on to the Supreme Court seem to favor Obama. And he knows it. But this challenge is only one of many and will return again and again one suspects. It cuts across judicial power, state rights, and the constitution itself. Someday, standing must be given to states, when affected, in a fair and balanced manner, rather than selectively allowing them into the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court if they are on the currently correct side of an issue.

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