Joseph Reisert, the Harriet S. Wiswell and George C. Wiswell Jr. Associate Professor of American Constitutional Law, published a column Feb. 20 discussing two questions raised by recent legal action against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program. On Feb. 16, a federal court temporarily halted the immigration plan after Texas and 25 other states and governors (including Maine Gov. Paul LePage) sued to block it.

In his column, Reisert discusses two “profoundly important constitutional questions” raised by the legal battle:

  • Should this dispute about immigration policy be settled in court, or should it be left to the give-and-take of politics?
  • What is the difference between enforcing an old law in a new way (which the president and cabinet secretaries have a right to do) and making new law without the consent of Congress (which they are not allowed to do)?