While the crummy cromnibus passed, pleasing virtually no one, there are some bright spots on the horizon.
A coalition of 20 states led by Gregg Abbot have won the first round in court in their case against Emperor Obama’s Amnesty Decree. The case could have gone to a Clinton appointee, but instead, it “landed in the lap of Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a Bush appointee who issued a scorching rebuke to the Department of Homeland Security last year, accusing it of refusing to follow border security laws.”
It could hardly have been a worse outcome for Mr. Obama, who, in order to preserve his policy, will now have to convince a judge who is on record calling his previous, less-extensive nondeportation policies “dangerous and unconscionable.”
“It’s the Constitution itself that is under assault by the president of the United States by this executive order,” Mr. Abbott told NBC’s “Meet the Press” this weekend. “This lawsuit is not about immigration. The issue in this lawsuit is abuse of executive power.”
Analysts on both sides of the issue said Mr. Obama’s opponents were fortunate to draw Judge Hanen, who has already shown a deep distrust of Homeland Security officials, questioning both their policies and their legal arguments.
Immigration hawk, Kris Kobach, secretary of state in Kansas, has been instrumental in devising legal attacks on Obama’s immigration enforcement policies.
Mr. Kobach said a U.S. citizen who could show he lost in a job competition to one of the newly legalized workers under the amnesty could also go to court — if he could prove that he lost the job specifically because of competition with an illegal immigrant.
“The trick, of course, is establishing that,” he said.
Mr. Kobach also said immigration agents who enforce the law could have standing to sue over the new policy.
He is leading a previous case filed by immigration agents that challenged Mr. Obama’s 2012 amnesty for “dreamers.” In that case a judge ruled that the administration did likely break the law — but the judge also ruled he didn’t have jurisdiction over the case since another part of the law said the agents needed to take their complaints to a personnel board, not the federal courts.
Mr. Kobach and the agents are fighting that case in the personnel board, and both he and the Obama administration have also appealed the initial judge’s ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Meanwhile, another judge has sided with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the first skirmish in what could turn out out be a major court fight over the legality of Emperor Obama’s amnesty program.
The announcement came on Wednesday from U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell in Washington, and granted a motion from Arpaio’s attorney, Larry Klayman of FreedomWatch, to move things along quickly.
Two Justice Department lawyers representing Obama in the fight had wanted their initial response delayed for weeks – for one thing because of the coming Christmas season.
But he ordered Obama to respond to Arpaio’s motion for a preliminary injunction – to protect the U.S. while the merits of the amnesty program are debated in court – by Dec. 15. A full preliminary injunction hearing is set for Dec. 22.
Arpaio, through his attorney, was the first to file a complaint regarding Obama’s executive order that grants legal status to approximately 4.7 million illegal aliens who broke U.S. law to enter.
“We are very pleased that Judge Howell has ordered an expedited hearing on our motion for preliminary injunction which asks to preserve the status quo and stop the implementation of President Obama’s executive order,” Klayman said. “The executive order violates the Constitution, as it seeks to circumvent the powers which the Framers delegated to Congress.”
The bad news is Arpaio’s Judge Howell, an Obama appointee.
Her immigration record differs from that of Judge Hanen. Earlier this year she issued a ruling in an open records case seeking documents on the construction of the border fence, and in her decision she speculated that construction of the fence could have a “disparate impact on lower-income minority communities.”
And well – there’s also this *sigh* via RollCall, GOP to Bring Up Bill Blocking Obama Immigration Action — Next Year:
While it may be little consolation to conservatives, House Republicans announced their intention Wednesday to vote on an amendment — in January, when the new Congress is sworn in — that would block the president’s executive action on immigration.
Rules Chairman Pete Sessions said during a panel hearing on the “cromnibus” Wednesday that Republicans plan to bring up legislation similar to an amendment offered by Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina that would prohibit the president from carrying out his immigration action.“Mr. Mulvaney has given us an amendment that works perfectly well,” Sessions said, saying he will “guarantee” that the Rules Committee, “in the new Congress, in the first two weeks,” would have a meeting to put that legislation on the House floor.
Sessions said he believed those in the country posed a threat to national security, and that the “rule of law” must be upheld. But he made it clear that the Rules Committee did not intend to have a fight over the president’s executive action in the cromnibus, thus effectively saying the amendment would not be made in order.
GOP leadership is trying to present the argument that the best chance for success is after the new Congress is sworn in. “We should not put a government shutdown on the table when Republicans have minimal leverage to change this law, particularly when Republican control of the Senate is a month away,” Sessions said.