Court Drives Stake Into Heart Of Obama Amnesty Plan

Late in the day on November 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dealt the Obama Administration a serious blow. It upheld the Preliminary Injunction of the U.S. District Court in Texas which blocked Obama’s executive action to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens under the plan known as DAPA. Read the court’s opinion here.

Interestingly, the Fifth Circuit opinion quotes back to the Obama Justice Department President Obama’s own statement that since Congress would not act, he would change the law by himself:

“Indeed, as the district court recognized, the President explicitly stated that ‘it was the failure of Congress to enact such a program that prompted him . . . to “change the law.”‘… At oral argument, and despite being given several opportunities, the attorney for the United States was unable to reconcile that remark with the position that the government now takes. And the dissent attempts to avoid the impact of the President’s statement by accusing the district court and this panel majority of ‘relying . . . on selected excerpts of the President’s public statements….’” [at 65]

The problem began in November 2014, with the Obama Department of Homeland Security issuing various “policies” designed to grant “lawful presence” to about 4 million illegal aliens meeting certain criteria, who otherwise would be subject to deportation. The Administration claimed it was simply using “prosecutorial discretion” — choosing not to enforce the law against certain persons. The challenge by 26 states asserted that President Obama opposed, and was simply refusing to enforce, the nation’s immigration laws.

The district court issued a preliminary injunction against DAPA. Earlier this year, a panel of the Fifth Circuit had refused the Administration’s request to stay that injunction. Monday’s decision upheld that preliminary injunction.

Six months ago, on May 11, 2015, our firm filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit supporting the challenge brought by the State of Texas and the other states against the Obama Administration’s misuse of “executive action” (“DAPA”) to implement provisions of the DREAM Act that Congress refused to enact. (Read our brief here.)

Our brief argued first that the states have standing to sue under a theory of “abdication standing.” Under this theory, if the federal government claims sole authority to act in a given area (such as immigration law), to the exclusion of the states, but then fails or refuses to act in that area, the states may challenge that abdication of authority in court.

Next, we argued that DAPA’s grant of immunity from prosecution to millions of illegal aliens constituted an exercise of a type of monarchical prerogative power to dispense or “waive” the law with respect to certain persons. The U.S. Constitution recognizes no such authority of the President to choose to exempt certain favored persons from the nation’s immigration laws.

As to the constitutional issues, our brief argued that, in implementing DAPA, the President acted contrary to both the express and implied will of Congress. First, Congress had explicitly legislated that illegal aliens who are unlawfully present should be removed. Second, Congress had refused several times to enact the DREAM Act, the same provisions which the President seeks to implement here by executive action. Third, while Congress has at times explicitly granted deferred action to various small groups of aliens, that is entirely different than the general amnesty to millions the President seeks to give here. When opposing Congress’ will, the Supreme Court has said that the President’s powers are “at their lowest ebb.”

Our brief also argued that, by refusing to enforce the law, the President is exercising what could be considered a post-enactment veto power. However, the Constitution grants him only the right to veto a law before it is enacted. Once a bill becomes law, however, the Take Care Clause of the Constitution requires the President to enforce it unless it is unconstitutional.

Finally, our brief discussed the enormous financial strain that millions of legalized illegal aliens will place on the Social Security and Medicare systems, and yet pay little in taxes while receiving much in benefits.

This is a case that almost certainly will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. In it, the Fifth Circuit panel split 2-1. In the majority were Reagan appointee Judge Jerry E. Smith, and G.W. Bush appointee Judge Jennifer W. Elrod. Dissenting was Carter appointee Judge Carolyn D. King. The two opinions totaled 124 pages.

Our brief was filed on behalf of Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, English First Foundation, English First, TREA Senior Citizens League, U.S. Justice Foundation, The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Abraham Lincoln Foundation for Public Policy Research, Inc., U.S. Border Control Foundation, Policy Analysis Center, Institute on the Constitution, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Copyright © 2015 William J. Olson, P.C. All rights reserved.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Immediately After Federal Court Blocked Obama’s Immigration Plan, His Admin Took A Huge Action

Barack Obama announced an executive order in 2014 which shielded up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.

At the time, Obama stated: “The fact is millions of immigrants, in every state, of every race and nationality still live here illegally. And let’s be honest, tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic. It also isn’t who we are as Americans.”

Many Republicans spoke out against the executive order. Rand Paul, a current Republican presidential candidate, stated at the time: “President Obama is not above the law and has no right to issue executive amnesty. His actions blatantly ignore the separations of powers and the principles our country was founded on.”

Twenty-six states mounted a legal challenge against the Obama administration over the legality of the executive order.

Last February, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen granted a temporary injunction preventing the Obama administration from carrying out the order.

On Monday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans followed the District Court ruling and ruled 2-1 against Obama’s executive order.

Today the Department of Justice said in a short statement that it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said:

The Department of Justice remains committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible in order to allow DHS to bring greater accountability to our immigration system by prioritizing the removal of the worst offenders, not people who have long ties to the United States and who are raising American children. The Department disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court of the United States.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said in a statement that he has “every confidence that the [Supreme Court] will find the actions lawful.”

What do you think of the Obama administration plan to appeal the Fifth Circuit’s ruling to the Supreme Court? Share and comment below. 

Federal Court Makes Gigantic Ruling Against Obama That Could Destroy His Big Plan

When the federal government was formed, the Founders gave the power to make laws to Congress, not to a president wanting to impose his will on the nation.

President Obama was reminded of this fundamental truth on Monday when a federal appeals court rejected his attempt to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants.

The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower federal court’s injunction blocking the edict, which Obama said was his attempt to “change the law.”

Obama’s words from last November came back to haunt him and were cited Monday by federal Judge Jerry E. Smith, who said in the majority ruling that only Congress can revise the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

“The INA flatly does not permit the reclassification of millions of illegal aliens as lawfully present and thereby make them newly eligible for a host of federal and state benefits, including work authorization,” Smith wrote.

“Today, the Fifth Circuit asserted that the separation of powers remains the law of the land, and the president must follow the rule of law, just like everybody else,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “Throughout this process, the Obama Administration has aggressively disregarded the constitutional limits on executive power, and Texas, leading a charge of 26 states, has secured an important victory to put a halt to the president’s lawlessness.”

The ruling is likely to be appealed. Regardless of the outcome of any appeal, Obama’s executive order is unlikely to be implemented during his presidency.

Although Monday’s ruling does not mean illegal immigrants targeted by Obama’s amnesty will be deported, it does block any action to give them work permits, Social Security numbers and to promise them they will not be deported.

“The court’s decision is a vindication for the Rule of Law and the Constitution,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a statement. “The President’s job is to enforce the immigration laws, not rewrite them. President Obama should abandon his lawless executive amnesty program and start enforcing the law today.”

Texas was joined in the lawsuit by the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

h/t: Fox News

Obama Just Had His Hand Slapped Hard By Fed Judge Who Blocks This ‘Inexplicable’ Overreach

Calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest effort to extend its control over virtually all U.S. waterways “inexplicable, arbitrary and devoid of reasoned process,” a federal judge has just blocked another attempt by President Obama to bypass Congress.

The Washington Times reports that Judge Ralph Erickson has issued a temporary injunction that prevents the EPA “from claiming oversight of millions of acres of land that contain small bodies of water.”

Critics of the EPA initiative have argued that the far-reaching new rule would give Obama’s official environmental activists vast new powers that would threaten water rights and usage by untold numbers of individuals, including farmers.

The Times article notes the critics’ argument that “the EPA would control lands near ditches with no possible connection to the rivers and lakes that the [original] law was designed to protect.”

The judge in North Dakota who blocked the EPA’s sweeping new rule agreed with critics, supporting his injunction with strong words that slap down what many see as yet another power grab by the Obama administration:

The rule asserts jurisdiction over waters that are remote and intermittent waters. No evidence actually points to how these intermittent and remote wetlands have any nexus to a navigable-in-fact water.

Thirteen states had sued to block the EPA from implementing its new water rule. Immediately after the federal judge hit the brakes on the agency’s action, the EPA put out a statement saying it would honor the judge’s order only in the states that had taken the administration to court. The remaining thirty-seven states, said the EPA, would see the sweeping changes to water regulations go into effect right away.

The Washington Times reports:

“In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” the agency said in a statement. “The agencies [EPA and Army Corps of Engineers] are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.’”

As the Times points out, this action by the federal judge in North Dakota is “the latest in a long list” of federal rulings challenging Obama’s authority to expand the reach and power of the executive branch.

Western Journalism has reported extensively on the actions of the federal court in Texas that put a halt, at least temporarily, to Obama’s executive amnesty orders for illegal immigrants. That case is working its way through the judicial system, as are many others alleging presidential overreach.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Sheriff Arpaio Just Got A Setback From A Federal Court In His Attempt To Stop Obama’s Amnesty

In a ruling that focused on procedure and not policy, a federal appeals court ruled Friday that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona can’t sue the Obama administration to halt Obama’s amnesty on deporting illegal immigrants.

The ruling marks a legal victory for the federal government, but it is a very scant one because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia didn’t rule on the actual substance of the president’s tentative amnesty program. Instead, the court said Arpaio didn’t prove Maricopa County was harmed by the amnesty and thus had no legal standing to sue.

Arpaio fought back against Obama’s amnesty, announced in November 2014, and claimed the administration’s deferred-deportation program — allowing up to 5 million immigrants to stay in the country — would serve as a magnet for others to cross from Mexico into his jurisdiction. He said illegal immigrants would stay in his area and commit crimes.

Although Arpaio’s challenge to Obama suffered a setback, other challenges are moving forward. The amnesty program was put on hold by a federal judge in Texas. An appeals court in New Orleans is grappling with an appeal in that case. The judges in that case, in an earlier ruling, had found Texas and 25 other states did have standing to sue because the amnesty would add potentially hundreds of thousands of new people able to seek driver’s licenses or other public benefits, which are quantifiable costs.

Larry Klayman, who is representing Arpaio, said the sheriff will not give up the fight and plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is costing the taxpayers — the people of Maricopa County — extra money to house criminals that should be sent back to wherever they came from,” he said.

“I’m confident this Supreme Court — which is largely conservative in nature — will agree with us, consolidate the two decisions and rule that Obama’s executive amnesty is unconstitutional,” he added.

h/t: The Washington Times

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth