Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court to review Obama immigration actions

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Tuesday evening here in Washington and weather forecasters are reporting another deep freeze tonight. Don't forget to bundle up if you're headed out. 

Here's the latest. 

 

THE BIG STORY 

The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would weigh the constitutionality of President Obama's executive actions on immigration. 

The programs, which could shield as many as 5 million immigrants from deportations, were put on hold early last year by a federal judge in Texas.

Immigration-rights activists welcomed the court's decision Tuesday. 

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"Not only are these policies morally right, they would create jobs and expand the economy," Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said. "But because of this politically motivated, anti-immigrant lawsuit, the President's initiatives have been frozen, forcing millions of parents and children to continue to live in the shadows, in constant fear of deportation and being separated from their families. We look forward to the Court's consideration of this case, and are confident that the President's executive actions will be upheld."

Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, representing one of 26 states that filed suit against Obama's actions, said the court's move shows it "recognizes the importance of the separation of powers."

The Supreme Court will decide the case by the end of its current term, which ends in June, with less than five months before Election Day. Oral arguments are expected in April. The Hill's Jordain Fabian has the full story here

The high court, however, rejected an appeal from Arizona Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, who challenged the president's immigration actions on behalf of Maricopa County. 

Arpaio, an outspoken lawman, had argued that Obama's measures harmed him because those spared from deportation would commit crimes in Maricopa County and as sheriff he would be forced to spend more money policing the county and running its jails.

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed a lower court's December decision to dismiss the case for lack of legal standing.

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee will hold a meeting to mark up the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016. http://1.usa.gov/1J76d7a

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing to discuss how to improve the federal response to challenges in mental healthcare in America. http://1.usa.gov/1KhMlZZ

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine the adequacy of criminal intent standards in federal prosecutions. http://1.usa.gov/1V6mt99

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will meet to examine the Department of Justice's role in implementing new executive actions related to gun control. http://1.usa.gov/1nwyTgb

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 224 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will issue new protections for certain tropical fish that are often seen in aquariums.

The Banggai cardinalfish will be listed as a threatened species, the agency said Tuesday. However, it is not designating a critical habitat for the tropical fish.

The protections stem from a 2013 petition by WildEarth Guardians.

The protections go into effect in 30 days. http://bit.ly/1V6ghhw

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will loosen the regulations for farmers exporting livestock to countries outside the United States.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Tuesday it is dropping most of the requirements for health certifications, tests and treatments that apply to exporters. They will instead be encouraged to comply with the regulations in the country to which they are sending the livestock, the agency said.

The changes go into effect in 30 days. http://bit.ly/1Pf0bUD

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will propose loosening the regulations for importing fresh apples and pears from Europe.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Tuesday it is considering a new systems approach for importing these fruits.

The approach would include registration of production sites and packinghouses, as well as inspection, pest control and sanitation requirements, among other things.

"This action would provide an alternative for the importation of fresh apple and pear fruit from certain countries in the European Union while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests into the continental United States," the agency noted.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/23cXUgP

--The Department of Defense (DOD) will propose new payment notification requirements for subcontractors.

Defense contractors would be required to notify the military if they pay a lower price or are more than 90 days past due on a payment to a subcontractor.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1OuR1Qj

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

--Obama's gun orders hit with first lawsuit. http://bit.ly/1QmaFAD

--Obama eyes 'audacious' use of executive power in final year. http://bit.ly/1QjY1So

--That time Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Cardi B posts message of support for Ilhan Omar #IStandWithIlhan trends after crowd at Trump rally chants 'send her back' MORE voted for Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMilitary spending has many points of contention: Closing overseas bases isn't one of them More adult Twitter users follow Obama than Trump: survey Pro-impeachment Democrats wary of Al Green's floor vote push MORE's plan to loosen regulation on Wall Street. (via CNN). http://cnn.it/1JWJjiY

--Clinton-Sanders battle puts spotlight on Amtrak gun rules. http://bit.ly/1RytLEP

--Supreme Court declines to hear new ObamaCare challenge. http://bit.ly/1Pf4cIy

--Supreme Court to hear insider trading case. http://bit.ly/1PDJrAJ

--Trump calls for higher ethanol mandate. http://bit.ly/1P3PD8W

--Lawmakers scrutinize USDA's hog slaughter rule. http://bit.ly/1nwwmTd

 

BY THE NUMBERS  

80 percent: Percent of breads and pasta that must be 51 percent whole grain under a new Senate child nutrition reauthorization bill. 

2019: Deadline for schools to meet lower sodium levels for school meals under the bill.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The president states that he is doing so purely because he does not like the legislative decisions of the Congress," reads a lawsuit against President Obama's executive action on guns. "These actions are unconstitutional abuses of the president's and executive branch's role in our nation's constitutional architecture and exceed the powers of the president as set forth in the U.S. Constitution." A conservative legal group is filing the first challenge to Obama's new gun orders. http://bit.ly/1QmaFAD

 

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.

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