Paul Ryan took what by nearly every count was an "extraordinary" step Thursday—a vote that authorizes him to file a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the House in the Supreme Court case challenging President Obama's immigration actions, United States v. Texas. That brief will now speak for 186 congressional members who voted against it, including five GOP members who voted against it.
Passage fell along party lines by a 234-186 vote. [...]
The unprecedented move will insert the House into one of the most hotly contested Supreme Court cases in the middle of the presidential campaign.
The vote also means that Paul Ryan has really picked up right where John Boehner left off—hewing to the nativist crowd in the House. By the count of the immigration group America's Voice, it was the eighth anti-immigrant vote taken by the 114th Congress, seeds that were sown in the very first weeks of its inception. Ryan could have opted to do what Democrats did, simply file an amicus brief that GOP members could sign on to if they so chose. As Illinois Democrat Rep. Luis Gutiérrez noted in his floor speech.
If Republicans are so secure in the validity of their arguments, they should write the brief and submit it to the Supreme Court, just as 225 Democrats did last week. And as dozens of business leaders and state and local legislators and Mayors have done.
The vote is a political stunt disguised as a legal brief because the Republican Majority sees a crass political opportunity to stand with the anti-immigration wing of their party.
So yeah, if we’re keeping track of who’s using their position to politicize the Supreme Court, Paul Ryan is taking his place right beside Mitch McConnell.
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