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*-- Supreme Court rejects rehearing Barack Obama's immigration challenge --*

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday rejected rehearing the challenge over President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration after a 4-4 vote earlier this year that upheld a lower court ruling blocking the order.

The Supreme Court did not provide comment as to why it would not take up the Obama administration's request to rehear the challenge to the immigration order. Obama's immigration order would prevent several million illegal immigrants from being deported.

The court's 4-4 tie ruling on June 23 effectively kept in place a Texas lower court ruling blocking the Obama order. The Justice Department wants the order to be kept on hold until a ninth justice is confirmed. Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly in February, but the Republican Senate has not agreed to a hearing or vote on Garland.

In a statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the Supreme Court's ruling on Monday validated Texas' position on Obama's order.

"Rewriting national immigration law requires the full and careful consideration of Congress. This is the latest setback to the president's attempt to expand executive power and another victory for those who believe in the Constitution's separation of powers and the rule of law," Paxton wrote.

The Justice Department on Monday said it was "disappointed in the court's decision and we are considering next steps."


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