Update II: DHS Secretary: Yeah, we have to put off our executive amnesty for now. Darn that rule of law:
The Obama administration will not accept applications for legal status from undocumented immigrants on Wednesday after a federal judge in Texas blocked implementation of President Obama’s policy deferring the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the administration would appeal the court ruling. “in the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it,” he said.
Obama may have started an executive action without proper regard to law when it comes to work permits, but the DACA expansion is another kind of problem. Hanen’s ruling noted that the new DHS interpretation of DACA requires them to follow the Administrative Procedures Act, posting a notice of rule change and waiting for a comment period to expire before finalizing the change. That would require at least 30 days before making the rule change effective. [snip]
This again impacts the political issues surrounding the funding for DHS. As long as Johnson keeps talking about implementing DAPA and DACA, Republicans have reason to withhold the funding that could be used for those purposes. If anything, the recognition of Johnson’s discretion in this matter makes the point even more acute for conservatives. One might be able to fight Obama in court over the obvious abuse of power in changing eligibility for work permits without Congressional approval, but the only way to stop Johnson on the other points is to either cut off the money or use the Congressional Research Act to void the regulatory changes — and that would require Obama’s signature.
This gets more interesting by the hour.
Update: It’s a preliminary injunction, not a temporary restraining order which would expire in a couple of weeks. As we write below, the most interesting aspect of the immigration ruling is the political question Will DHS funding dynamics shift after court ruling?
What will happen now in Washington because of the Texas ruling? Will Republicans cave in and fund an illegal act by Obama? Or will Republicans put Senate Obama Dimocrats on the defensive which is the smart move.
Republicans should demand Obama Senate Dimocrats pass a bill which defunds Obama’s illegal illegal immigration dictats. A stall tactic of passing a 30 day “clean bill” would be defeatist and a win for Obama. The smart move for Republicans is to fight this February not later:
Foley suggested that the PI’s protection against executive overreach might convince conservatives to allow a short-term bill that fully funds DHS. It’s much more likely that the ruling will leave moderate Republicans in the Senate no cover to push for a so-called “clean” bill. After all, what would be the rationale for giving DHS all of the funding when Josh Earnest woke up at 2:48 AM this morning to declare that the White House still planned to use it to move forward with its executive action on immigration? With the court ruling Obama’s plan unconstitutional and illegal, they will have no choice but to fall back in line to restrict funding from those efforts.
The news for Obama’s illegal illegal immigration dictats is likely to get worse once the court rules on other substantive issues in the case:
Although the court sided with the states, the court did not declare the substance of the policy itself unlawful — at least not yet. According to the lengthy ruling by Judge Andrew Hanen, the administration failed to comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.
The time is now for Congress (with the courts) to fight the lawless executive.
Federal judge temporarily blocks Obama’s executive amnesty. No surprise to our regular readers.
We’ve argued for a while now that the courts would join the fight alongside the legislative branch to block a totalitarian executive. That happened today.
We’ve also argued that this coalition of judicial and legislative branches against the totalitarian executive is the way to go:
Why do we think this lawsuit is the way to go? First, congressional action by the GOP this year is symbolic at best because the Harry Reid/Obama Senate will not pass legislation to stop Obama’s illegal illegal immigration executive power grab. It’s best for opponents of Obama’s illegal illegal immigration executive diktat to act once the new congress begins and Republicans are in control of both houses of congress.
To wait until next year however means that wheels will begin to turn and Obama’s diktat might begin to produce real harm as illegal immigrants see an open road for them to ride on. Which brings us to our most important consideration. The second reason for why this lawsuit is the way to go is: illegal immigrants are not stupid.
Illegal immigrants are not stupid. Few will risk trust in Obama when faced with the fact that Obama’s cheesy political ploy will expire once Obama is out of office. Even fewer illegal immigrants will trust Obama’s illegal illegal executive action now that they know that there are lawsuits which challenge Obama’s illegal illegal immigration executive diktat.
The court order came today, just before Obama’s illegal illegal immigration scams erupted over the land. Here’s the court order:
Aside from the legal, this decision impacts the political fight over the current funding fight for the Department of Homeland Security. Also, as we surmised so long ago, illegal immigrants will think twice about outing themselves to legal authorities merely on the word of an outlaw executive. National Review sees some of what we wrote about:
The federal government is expected to immediately ask for a stay of the injunction. That would allow the feds to resume the process of preparing to grant quasi-legal status to millions of illegal immigrants — applications for one category of the president amnesty were to open this week. For now, that can’t happen; the decision from a higher court will probably take a few weeks.
Whatever the final decision is, this ruling should a bit of ammunition for Republicans who are currently trying to force some Democrats into agreeing to a government-funding bill in Congress that blocks the implementation of the order, which many Democrats once opposed.
Such an injunction isn’t granted unless the judge feels the plaintiffs have “a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.” Hanen’s ruling offers analysis of whether the states have standing to sue (on a number of grounds, he says they do), and whether they have a good chance at success.
The heart of the decision appears to rest on the issue of the out of bounds authority (gee, doesn’t this sound like the ObamaCare subsidy line of cases?) by the DHS:
The basic argument from the states that Hanen favors isn’t one about constitutional improprieties (he doesn’t get to that question, which the states have raised); it’s that the Department of Homeland Security has effectively created a whole new program and procedure without following any of the legally necessary steps. The Obama administration’s use of deferred action amounts to new rulemaking, Hanen suggests, because there’s so little evidence that the system, based on DACA, involves case-by-case discretion, as the feds claim it does.
For those easily shocked this might come as a surprise. For the rational and knowledgable there is no case to make that Obama’s diktat via DHS is in any way “case-by-case discretion”. It is wholesale lawbreaking, Chicago style:
“DHS does have discretion in the manner in which it chooses to fulfill the expressed will of Congress. It cannot, however, enact a program in which it not only ignores the dictates of Congress, but actively acts to thwart them,” Hanen wrote. “DHS Secretary [Jeh Johnson] is not just rewriting the laws he is creating them from scratch.” [snip]
The Texas judge’s ruling blocked both key parts of Obama’s new immigration initiative: the expansion of a program the president announced in 2012 to shield illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and a new program giving similar “deferred action” status to illegal aliens who are parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents.
Hanen’s decision came just two days before officials were set to begin accepting applications for the newly expanded program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.
However, the bulk of the court’s opinion focuses on the parents’ program, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. Officials were expected to begin accepting applications for that program by May, but no specific start date had been announced.
Obama, has just been bitch-slapped by the district court:
A federal judge late Monday halted President Obama’s deportation amnesty, ruling he overstepped his powers in trying to grant legal status and “benefits and privileges” to millions of illegal immigrants, in a stunning decision that chides the president and throws the White House’s plans into disarray just a day before applications were to be accepted. [snip]
“The DHS was not given any ‘discretion by law’ to give 4.3 million removable aliens what the DHS itself labels as ‘legal presence,’” Judge Hanen wrote in issuing an injunction. “In fact, the law mandates that these illegally-present individuals be removed. The DHS has adopted a new rule that substantially changes both the status and employability of millions. These changes go beyond mere enforcement or even non-enforcement of this nation’s immigration scheme.”
In the immediate sense, the ruling will become a major part of the debate over homeland security funding that has roiled Capitol Hill, with Republicans insisting Mr. Obama’s actions were unconstitutional and should be halted through Congress’s spending power, and Democrats backing their president by filibustering to block funding for the Homeland Security Department altogether. [snip]
Judge Hanen’s exhaustive opinion, which ran to 123 pages, eviscerated the administration’s legal arguments. Where Mr. Obama claimed he was only issuing “guidance” and using his powers of prosecutorial discretion to make decisions on a case-by-case basis, the judge ruled that wording was “disingenuous” and ignored the substance of what the president was trying to do.
He also said Mr. Obama hurt his own case by saying he’d acted to “change the law,” implying a much more substantive legal program than his administration was arguing in court.
Speaker of the House John Boehner grabbed the moment:
John Boehner says judge’s amnesty ruling should end filibuster, clear path for DHS spending
House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday that a judge’s ruling halting President Obama’s deportation amnesty bolsters the GOP’s push on homeland security funding, which has prompted a Democratic filibuster in the Senate and threatens a possible shutdown of the Homeland Security Department later this month.
Congressional Republicans have been trying to halt Mr. Obama’s new deportation policies through the annual appropriations process, but Democrats have balked, arguing what Mr. Obama did was legal.
Late Monday, federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen, ruling in Texas, issued an injunction blocking Mr. Obama’s policies, finding they went beyond his powers.
“The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed,” Mr. Boehner said. “Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security Department.”
The fight against Obama’s illegal rule by diktat is not merely one to be pursued in the courts although that is certainly a big part of the coalition that must be organized to save the Republic. This fight must be foremost a political fight in the broadest sense.
Politically the court ruling helps the GOP, but that is small potatoes politics. The big impact of the ruling will be on illegal immigrants who will now hesitate to assist Obama in his law-breaking.
For Barack Obama, as with every flim-flam con man the fight is one against the clock. A flim-flam man tries to stay one step ahead of the law. That is precisely what Obama is up to in just about all his endeavors. On ObamaCare the game is to play for time so that ObamaCare will become so deeply embedded in the national fabric that it will be impossible to dislodge.
Likewise on illegal immigration Obama is playing for time so that his diktat will be impossible to reverse. The judge in Texas sees the “irreparable harm” Obama’s actions cause. “The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle.”
In the battle between flim-flams and the law. The law won a big one this Fat Tuesday before lent.