In a recent New York Times op-ed, Linda Greenhouse takes the Supreme Court justices to task for the “startling” action of asking the Obama administration to address whether its deferred-action immigration program violates the Take Care Clause of the Constitution.

The Take Care Clause is the president’s duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” And it has come to the forefront in the case brought by Texas and 25 other states challenging the Obama administration’s attempt to give legal status and work authorizations to more than four million illegal immigrants.

In “The Supreme Court vs. the President,” Greenhouse appears flabbergasted that the Supreme Court would ask such a question.

She first argues that the Supreme Court shouldn’t get involved in this constitutional question because the lower courts never addressed it.

This certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Supreme Court has considered an issue beyond the scope of the lower courts’ ruling. In Batson v. Kentucky (1986), the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause prohibits prosecutors from using peremptory challenges to strike potential jury members based on their race.