February 17, 2015

"A federal judge in Texas has ordered a halt, at least temporarily, to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration..."

"... siding with Texas and 25 other states that filed a lawsuit opposing the initiatives."
“The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts and the district court in Washington, D.C., have determined that the president’s actions are well within his legal authority,” the White House statement said. “The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, common sense policies from taking effect, and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”...

In his opinion, Judge [Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court in Brownsville] accused administration officials of being “disingenuous” when they said the president’s initiatives did not significantly alter existing policies. He wrote that the programs were “a massive change in immigration practice” that would affect “the nation’s entire immigration scheme and the states who must bear the lion’s share of its consequences.” He said the executive actions had violated laws that the federal government must follow to issue new rules, and he determined “the states have clearly proven a likelihood of success on the merits.”...

“Federal supremacy with respect to immigration matters makes the states a kind of interloper in disputes between the president and Congress,” said Laurence H. Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard. “They don’t have any right of their own.”

37 comments:

Bobber Fleck said...

The line between White House statements and political satire continues to blur.

The WH press statement is difficult to read without laughing...

CWJ said...

The political drum beat of "common sense" is rapidly overtaking my dislike for the political use of "fair."

The Drill SGT said...

One only has to hear the IRS Commissioner speak about work authorizations, State Drivers Licenses, Social Security Cards, back EITC payments in the 5 figures, and authorization to a plethora of state/federal benefits to a know that this far exceeds prosecutorial discretion.

rehajm said...

Given the number of times the courts have said the administration has exceeded it's authority why do they still believe they have credibility on such matters?

Michael K said...

So, I guess our constitutional law president was wrong when he said he had no power to change immigration law ?

jim murray said...

Thank god for Texas.

Larry J said...

Amazing, a federal judge who actually follows the law. That will not do.

Mick said...

Of course the Usurper's "executive actions" are illegal. He cannot change immigration law, only implement it as designed by Congress. But then there is no law when the executor of the laws is an illegal entity. Notice the third party validation of the fellow travelers in the toady DOJ and "legal scholars" (would that include you law prof?). It is the usual tactic of the progressive Community organizers.

JSD said...

Judge Hanen is out of Brownsville Texas. I live just up river in Mission. After living here for 10 years, I can safely say that open borders are here to stay. The NAFTA agreement in 1994 sealed the deal. Every manufacturing company in the upper Midwest opened a plant in Mexico. The border was always had a strong cultural connection, but now the economic connections run much deeper and extend throughout the US. They dominate everything in our relationship with Mexico. No matter what any politician says, the policies (and those who benefit from it) are here to stay. I am sorry to report that everything else is just talk.

Unknown said...

"A federal judge in Texas has ordered a halt, at least temporarily, to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration,"

I assume (could be totally wrong) that no judgment of a court less than SCOTUS could be tagged "at least temporarily." Not sure of the point of leading with it, unless it's supposed to try to change the article from reporting on the substance of the decision to politics.

Hagar said...

I think Obama - and this stems from him, I think - is going "the full Alinsky" on our immigration laws, i.e. "nuke" the existing system into anarchy that cannot be tolerated, and then force through Congress a system of laws designed by him.
This is not how things are supposed to be done in a republic.

PB said...

Funny, after all that education, bar exam and hours spent pouring over the law as an associate, sa a partner and then swearing to uphold the law as a judge, judges stick to the partisan line.

Hagar said...

Saul Alinsky - a private citizen - using unorthodox tactics against the Dailey organization in Chicago is one thing; Saul Alinsky getting elected governor and using the same tactics against the Illinos legislature is quite another.

Paul said...

How can Obama be a 'Professor of Constitutional Law' yet never published anything but his 50 most favorite speeches he gave to the Queen of England?

Well maybe sometime before the end of his golfing tour of the Whitehouse we may find out.

The only good thing I see of it is we maybe snookered 5 million illegals to pay some more into the Social Security money pit for all us retirees.

Jane the Actuary said...

Will these legalized-by-fiat immigrants keep Social Security afloat? Considering that Social Security's formula is very "progressive" (in the way that these terms have been defined for us, that is, the highest level of relative benefit for the poorest workers), bringing in a large number of low-wage workers will perhaps boost the system short-term, but in the long-term, leave everything worse off.

The Godfather said...

As I understand it, the ruling is based on the failure of the Government to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, which usually requires that proposed rules be published and subject to public comments before being enacted. It's been quite awhile since I had occasion to research this requirement, but it seemed to me from the beginning that this might be the Achilles Heel of the Obamnesty.

Ann Althouse said...

"I assume (could be totally wrong) that no judgment of a court less than SCOTUS could be tagged "at least temporarily." Not sure of the point of leading with it, unless it's supposed to try to change the article from reporting on the substance of the decision to politics."

This is too critical of the NYT. The district judge issued a preliminary injunction, not a permanent injunction. The function of this form of relief is to preserve the status quo pending litigation.

The Godfather said...

Because Althouse is interested in words, I would like to call attention to the use of the word "accused" in the NYT article: "In his opinion, Judge Hanen accused administration officials of being 'disingenuous' when they said the president’s initiatives did not significantly alter existing policies." "Accuse" doesn't seem to me to be the word one normally expects in describing a court's opinion. An "accusation" might be made by a prosecutor or an advocate for a party, but what the judge says is typically described as a "ruling" or "holding" or finding". I suppose like "at least temporarily", the use of "accuse" is meant to send the message that the Times doesn't respect this decision, much as the White House statement (“The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts and the district court in Washington, D.C., have determined that the president’s actions are well within his legal authority,”) sends the same message.

Seeing Red said...

What does common sense have to do with the law?

Obamacare isn't common sense.

Seeing Red said...

As much change in the next 2 years as he can!

EDH said...

How does this affect Obama's attempted politicization of the DHS vote in congress?

Is it better for the GOP to use the Reid Option to kill the filibuster outright, now, lest a higher court remove the injunction and put them back on the defensive, or should the GOP just pass temporary funding bills that won't outlive the judge's preliminary injunction and deal with it as it evolves?

WaitingToBuy said...

Seriously, no one here actually believes the Obama Admin will obey the injunction! Obama is above the law.

richard mcenroe said...

Bobber Fleck: for the WH statement, just substitute the words "Top. Men." Saves a lot of ink and bandwidth.

Terry said...

Obama is sometimes described as once having been a professor of constitutional law.
Obama was a part time prof who taught the 14th amendment.

jr565 said...

Kudos to this judge for standing up to obvious overreach by the president.

Gusty Winds said...

The function of this form of relief is to preserve the status quo pending litigation.

Status quo meaning zero enforcement of current immigration laws?

Will said...

The Drill SGT comment at 6:46AM says it all..

IRS Commissioner Koskinen testified to his congressional overseerers last week about the numerous unintended consequences of Obama's executive action. Four million people here illegally could recover $600 each from American taxpayers and deficit financers. This is a multi-billion dollar transfer to people who broke our laws.

There have also been numerous stories that immigrants would be effectively able to vote as they would have all the papers and the Obama DOJ would fight any effort to enforce voting laws (i.e. just as they are doing to immigration laws)

Clearly this is an ill-conceived plan full of unintended consequences. Obama himself said dozens of times he lacked the authority. Yet now that he is beyond electoral discipline he suddenly miracles the power?

If these new people vote 70/30 for Democrats then just solve for X on how many Obama needs to give amnesty in order to solidify Democratic presidential elections. If he can dilute red border states then he views that as a bonus.

No other President has had the gaul to flout checks and balances this way. Congress needs to hit this jackass in the head with a 2 by 4.

This judge did the right thing. Stop it right now while the checks and balances work out whether Obama has this right.

The White House will issue press releases scorning this decision. Yet their 2:48AM Press Release shows they are sweating. As they should be.

Think said...

"Status quo meaning zero enforcement of current immigration laws?"

Essentially, yes, as acknowledged by the judge in his opinion. That was part of the judges reasoning as to why the injunction would not cause harm to the immigrants.

Hagar said...

I do not think the consequences are unintended, Will.

Unknown said...

"A federal judge in Texas has ordered a halt, at least temporarily, to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration,..."

Maybe it's asking too much, but the word "injunction" doesn't appear in the article. instead the judge is posed as supporting the States' case against Obama's action. (Again, I could be totally wrong) a temporary injunction is not a judgment and not particularly siding with anybody, just halting action that is under review until the review complete. I thought if there was a reasonable chance the objector could win and the reversing the actions could do harm, then an injunction is supposed to occur. The tone of the article is that this "temporary halt" is a dumb political move, but it looks to me like a perfectly sound legal action.

Anonymous said...

Can we impeach Obama now?

Meade said...

Impeach him for what?

Anonymous said...

In my area the executive action has already had a huge effect.

We, the Federal Government, pays for approximately 1,200 beds at the North West Detention Center in Tacoma Washington. Five years ago, it wasn't uncommon for that facility to be running at 1,500 occupants. Getting down to 1,200 was a real task.

Today, the detention center doesn't get over 700. Yet the Federal Government is still paying for 1200 beds.

Also, the morning muster has approximately 30 officers in it. Those officers used to have an issue with the muster, because they had a lot of work to do and they needed to get to it.

Now, after muster, they mill around, go for coffee, read the internet, and Obama is giving them all a big fat raise.

Matt said...

Immigration law is a confused mess. Not many lawyers would even pretend to be knowledgeable about it. It's interesting that Judge Hanen wrote a dense, 100+ page opinion analyzing the law and the New York Times asked a constitutional law professor, not an immigration law professor or practitioner for an opinion.

Judge Hanen said that the program is a massive change to immigration practice, but the Times found no one to describe immigration practice.

Unknown said...

The decision

http://c8.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/pdf_corner_021515_immigrationinjunction.pdf

dbp said...

Meade said...
Impeach him for what?

Setting aside the political wisdom of impeachment, the president swore an oath to faithfully uphold the laws and yet has made a public pronouncement that he intends to not enforce certain laws and indeed to subvert those very laws.

JamesB.BKK said...

Holder on the eve of yet one more ass-kicking on his way out? Well deserved. Schlockiest lawyering seen in a long time in this government.