The Supreme Court appeared split along ideological lines Monday as justices took up one of the most significant challenges yet to President Obama’s use of executive power – an election-year dispute over his bid to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and make them eligible to work in the U.S.
The justices’ questions and comments over the course of the 90-minute arguments left the possibility of a 4-4 tie – which would represent a defeat for the Obama administration. A split decision also would set no guiding precedent on the use of presidential authority moving forward.
Still, comments by Chief Justice John Roberts helped keep a final decision in doubt, as he suggested a possible quick-fix in a key part of the policy. In doing so, he gave possible hope to the White House and its allies, even if a split decision still appears the most likely outcome.