A somewhat reluctant Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in this year’s most far-reaching immigration case and decide whether President Trump was justified in seeking to revoke a popular Obama-era policy that allowed more than 700,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as children to temporarily live and work in this country.
Given the conservative majority on the court, the so-called Dreamers’ best hope for victory almost surely depends on Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
Though Roberts has repeatedly ruled that the president enjoys broad powers when it comes to immigration, he is also one of the few remaining conservative justices who has shown a willingness to side with liberals on high-profile cases, including one recently in which he agreed that the Trump administration had not adequately defended its actions — the same issue in play in the Dreamers case.
Roberts is a conservative with four other Republican appointees on his right, including Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, Trump’s two appointees. He wrote the 5-4 ruling last year upholding Trump’s travel ban and said then the immigration laws entrust enforcement to the chief executive.
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