US Supreme Court agrees to hear Obama's bid to resurrect immigration plan

The US flag flies in front of the Supreme Court in Washington.
The US flag flies in front of the Supreme Court in Washington.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday (Jan 19) agreed to hear President Barack Obama's bid to resurrect his plan to shield more than four million illegal immigrants from deportation, a unilateral executive action he took in 2014 to bypass the Republican-led Congress.

The dispute, to be argued before the court in the coming months with a ruling likely by the end of June, will be one of the centerpiece cases of the court's current term.

Mr Obama's executive action was blocked by lower courts after Texas and 25 other Republican-governed sued to stop it, contending he exceeded his presidential powers under the US Constitution.

The nine justices will review a November ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a February 2015 decision by US District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, a city along the Texas border with Mexico, to halt Mr Obama's action.