House GOP to Take Historic Vote on SCOTUS Brief

Ryan considers an amicus brief a historic step. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For the first time ever, the House is going to consider filing an amicus brief on behalf of the institution in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.  

In the coming weeks, the House will vote on whether to file a brief opposing the president’s immigration executive orders, Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced Tuesday. “This is a very extraordinary step; in fact it has never been done before,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “But this executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress’s Article 1 power under our constitution.”  

Members of Congress have signed onto amicus briefs before, but never has a brief been filed on behalf an entire chamber of Congress.  

The Supreme Court in April is scheduled to consider an appeals court ruling that found President Barack Obama overstepped when he issued an executive action preventing the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. Republicans want the court to uphold the lower court's decision.  

"The president is not permitted to write law," Ryan said. "Only Congress is."  

Meanwhile, House Democrats have decided to take matters into their own hands ."House Democrats will file an amicus brief before the Supreme Court next week that demonstrates the President's common-sense actions are authorized by existing laws passed by Congress," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.  

She characterized Ryan's measure as "a one-sided Republican resolution that does not speak for Democrats, and will only feed the mean-spirited, anti-immigrant obsession of his party’s most extreme forces."  

Contact McPherson at lindseymcpherson@cqrollcall.com and at @lindsemcpherson


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