Last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Texas, et. al. underscores the importance of the makeup of the Supreme Court, and reminds us why the GOP must maintain control of the Senate after this year’s elections. After all, does anyone doubt that the ruling would have been very different had President Obama’s liberal pick, Merrick Garland, been confirmed to the bench months ago?

The Supreme Court split 4-4 in U.S. v. Texas, the case that challenged President Obama’s executive action to grant virtual amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Back in November, the Fifth Circuit upheld by a 2-1 majority a Texas federal judge’s injunction that blocked implementation of President Obama’s “deferred action” program. Last week’s split decision by the Supreme Court means the Fifth Circuit’s decision will stand, and that President Obama’s executive amnesty program must stop – a huge win for opponents of President Obama’s unilateral actions.

While the Obama Administration makes the claim that the “non-enforcement” of our immigration laws poses no burdens to states or to American citizens, Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen and the Fifth Circuit disagreed. The appeals court determined that the non-enforcement of our immigration laws “would affirmatively confer ‘lawful presence’ and associated benefits on a class of unlawfully present aliens.” The budgetary impact for Texas and other states of President Obama’s rejection of our immigration laws is, of course, enormous. It’s appropriate for states to be on guard against Obama’s expansive view of the federal government that often leaves states footing the bill.

The “deferred action” program, which President Obama unilaterally put into place, was a massive amnesty for illegal immigrant parents of U.S.-born children. The program also expanded amnesty for illegal immigrants who came to the country before the age of 16.

The Left often defends President Obama’s unilateral executive amnesty program by saying it doesn’t really amount to true amnesty. But Americans aren’t easily fooled, and understand that granting work permits, Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses to people who broke our immigration laws is, by definition, amnesty, no matter what the Administration wants to call it.

Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants – thus making a mockery of our immigration laws – is extremely unpopular with the American public, and both houses of Congress oppose it. That’s why the president decided to act unilaterally, simultaneously ignoring the will of the overwhelming majority of American people while trampling on Congress’s Constitutional responsibility to write laws. The president’s executive philosophy prioritizes expediency over the rule of law, so it’s easy to understand how frustrated he must be with the Constitution’s separation of powers – which are nothing more than an inconvenience to him.