Texas Seeking Delay in Supreme Court Immigration Case

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama Administration Takes Executive Lawlessness Battle to SCOTUS.

After a slow crawl through the lower federal courts, the fate of President Obama’s long-delayed immigration programs is finally before the Supreme Court. Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative.Jorge Luna Torres moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic when he was 9 years old and has been a lawful permanent resident for three decades.

Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller filed a motion Monday for a 30-day extension for Texas and 25 other states to respond to the government’s petition last week. This is about the Constitution and fundamental pillars of our republic – separation of powers and federalism – intended to protect our liberties and freedoms. The government is appealing a preliminary injunction that stopped implementation of Obama’s amnesty plan, which was issued by a federal district court and upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 9. Lawyers for Torres argue his state arson conviction is not an aggravated felony because federalarson law includes the element of interstate commerce, which was clearly lacking in his case.

In an odd coincidence, Donald Verrilli, the solicitor general, filed the petition on the one-year anniversary of Obama’s speech to the nation on Nov. 20, 2014, where he announced his unprecedented, unilateral action to violate federal immigration law and provide lawful status and work permits to as many as five million illegal aliens. But Verrilli claims that review is needed now because of the “great and immediate significance” of the president’s amnesty plan and “the irreparable injury to the many families affected by delay in its implementation, and the broad importance of the questions presented.” Of course, given that the Obama administration has virtually stopped all of its deportation procedures, with only some exceptions for certain criminal aliens, it is hard to imagine what “irreparable injury” all of these illegal aliens will suffer since they have, in all practical terms, been granted “lawful presence” already even without the president’s official amnesty plan in place. The states properly maintain that DAPA’s grant of lawful presence and accompanying eligibility for benefits is a substantive rule that must go through notice and comment, before it imposes substantial costs on them, and that DAPA is substantively contrary to law.” (p. 42) These are the same fundamental arguments I made on Capitol Hill nearly one year ago testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.

Verrilli claims none of the states even have standing to sue the federal government because any costs they incur from illegal aliens being given granted lawful presence are just “voluntary.” This is almost a farcical argument given the enormous education, healthcare, and law enforcement costs imposed on the states with the influx of huge numbers of illegal aliens into their communities. Appellants unconstitutionally legislated by creating a categorical, class-based program not supported by law or established congressional immigration policy.” The President is not a king and impatient presidents don’t get to rewrite the law when they don’t get their way. Verrilli also makes the over-the-top claim that this injunction is “unprecedented” and “in violation of established limits on the judicial power.” Thus, “if left undisturbed, that ruling will allow States to frustrate the federal government’s enforcement of the Nation’s immigration laws” (emphasis added). The government also reiterates the unsuccessful arguments made in the lower courts that the states have no claim under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the federal statute governing the issuance of new regulations and rules by government agencies.

The APA doesn’t stop agencies from having the flexibility needed to adapt to “changing circumstances and priorities” but it makes sure they don’t do so in secret on an arbitrary and capricious basis without the public and individuals who will be affected by these changes having a chance to influence the agency. This is vitally important, since the purpose of the executive branch is to serve the best interests of the public as a whole, something that does not always seem to be the objective of this administration.

There is one thing that the government gets right: this is an important case that is vital to the future of this country, although certainly not in the way the administration claims. If they do, we have to hope that they uphold the injunction and don’t allow the president to act as an unchecked monarch who can change whatever laws he doesn’t like at will.

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