The Supreme Court announced its decision on a controversial case about immigration on Thursday.
Its decision was no decision. With just eight justices in the court, it came out in a tie. The announcement was one full sentence long:
President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill Scalia's spot, but the Senate Republicans refused to hear the nomination. This leads to unclear outcomes, like this case.
The United States v. Texas case concerned Obama's immigration reform plan. That plan would have protected five million people from deportation and would allow them the opportunities to work legally in this country.
Since the Supreme Court tied, lower courts get to rule, and they decided Obama did not have the authority for this plan. So now, these five million people are no longer protected from being kicked out of the country. This leaves many families in limbo and is a blow to pro-immigration people.
But the tie means there is no precedent, so it's possible the Supreme Court can try a similar case in the future and make a definitive decision.
Obama said in a statement at the White House:
I think it is heartbreaking for the millions of immigrants who made their lives here.
He went on to say, "Immigration is not something to fear," and he asserted, sooner or later, immigration reform will pass to allow families to stay in the country. Obama said,
We get spasms of politics around immigration and fear mongering. And then our traditions and our history and our better impulses kick in. That's how we all ended up here, because I guarantee at some point, every one of us has someone in our background who people didn't want coming here. And yet here we are.