President Obama’s legacy is increasingly in legal jeopardy

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from The Huffington Post,

President Obama’s second-term agenda, it seems, is in the hands of the courts.

Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Climate change. And now immigration. And in many cases, there is significant doubt about whether his signature initiatives will stand legal scrutiny.

The latest blow to Obama’s second-term plans came Tuesday when a federal appeals court in New Orleans denied the administration’s request to move forward with implementing his expanded executive action on immigration to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Texas and 25 other states have sued to have it shelved. The drama is sure to ensue for months, writes the Post’s David Nakamura, and throw into doubt whether the fight over all of Obama’s executive actions on immigration will be settled before he leaves office in January 2017.

Here’s a look at other Obama agenda items that are now in the court’s hands, and where they stand.

Same-sex marriage. Obama is the first American president to support same-sex marriage — though his public evolution apparently was slower than his personal one. Before he backed gay marriage, he called for repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. And since, he has ordered federal agencies to recognize same-sex marriages and partnerships like any other married couple.

But the Supreme Court could have the final say on gay marriage’s place in America when it hands down a high-profile decision in the next month on whether states that ban gay marriage violate a couple’s constitutional right.

Obamacare. The president’s signature health-care reform law has already survived one Supreme Court challenge when in 2012, a divided court (5-4) narrowly upheld the mandate for people to have insurance by determining it was a tax. If the court rules in King v. Burwell that those subsidies are unconstitutional, upwards of 8 million people in 36 states could lose their subsidies. It would undo a key part to the Affordable Care Act — and possibly unravel the whole law.

Climate Change. Obama told U.S. Coast Guard cadets last week that failing to act on climate change will “set a course for disaster.” At the same time, the Supreme Court is debating whether his method of cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions is even constitutional.

More immigration. The lawsuit against Obama’s plan to shield 5 million additional undocumented immigrants from deportation isn’t the only court challenge to the president’s executive actions on immigration.

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