A lawyer for Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County, who first challenged Barack Obama’s immigration amnesty strategy that was blocked on Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court, says it is good the justices “stood up to an out-of-control president who rules like he is King George III in 1776.”
The court was split 4-4 so the resulting ruling is that the decision from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is left standing. That affirmed a lower court’s decision that Obama could not implement an expanded amnesty program with orders from his agencies and departments.
WND had broken the story when U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen granted a temporary injunction halting Obama’s unilateral action to allow as many as five million illegal aliens stay in the U.S.
The administration had acted apart from Congress, even though Obama had acknowledged he is “not king” and “can’t do these things just by myself.”
Arpaio originally had brought a lawsuit against the government over the immigration amnesty plan, but it was dismissed by a district court and that decision was affirmed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Essentially, the court said Arpaio didn’t have the proper legal “standing” to complain, and the sheriff then ended up joining in the lawsuit by Texas and other states on which the Supreme Court eventually ruled.
Attorney Larry Klayman, of Freedom Watch, who represented Arpaio, said the justices “legally stood up to an out-of-control president who rules like he is King George III in 1776. As bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution, this is the proper role of the judiciary, to serve as a check and balance to government tyranny.”
He explained Arpaio’s case was assigned to “an Obama-appointed judge who dismissed the case claiming it was only a political ploy.”
Later an Obama-packed federal appeals court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, affirmed the lower court’s decision, uttering hardly a word about the merits of the case, Klayman explained.
The Texas case was filed shortly after Arpaio’s, and for a time both were pending in different federal circuits.
Klayman noted that the split Supreme Court ruling along partisan lines not only underscores just how political the court is, but cements Judge Hanen’s ruling.
“Having started the ball rolling on this challenge to President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive actions granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens including likely Muslim terrorists who have crossed our borders and are here on bogus student visas and other subterfuges, we are thankful that the so-called conservatives on the Supreme Court held fast to the leftists on the high court,” Klayman said.
“While we have little hope that President Obama will now take action to deport these illegal aliens, particularly since they are a large illegal voting block for the Democrats this fall, this Supreme Court ruling at least tells Obama and his allies that their lawlessness will not be countenanced.”
It was a dissenting judge in the District of Columbia dismissal that had raised alarms about the case – months ago.
Judge Janice Rogers Brown noted that precedent called for Arpaio’s case to be dismised.
“Today we hold that the elected sheriff of the nation’s fourth largest county, located mere miles from our border with Mexico, cannot challenge the federal government’s deliberate non-enforcement of the immigration laws,” Brown wrote.
“I write separately to … note the consequences of our modern obsession with a myopic and constrained notion of standing,” the judge continued.
She explained “what the government views as permissible prosecutorial discretion, Sheriff Arpaio views as a violation of the president’s duty to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed’ … and the non-delegation doctrine.”
His concerns, Brown wrote, “run deeper than a difference in philosophy or politics. He claims [Obama’s amnesty] impose clear and ‘severe’ harms on his ability to protect the people of Maricopa County. In particular, he argues that deferring removal proceedings and providing work authorizations to undocumented immigrants ‘harmed … his office’s finances, workload and interfered with the conduct of his duties…'”
Brown said it’s logical for the sheriff to believe he has a case. But Brown wrote that the case had to be dismissed because of precedent, even though “the relevant judicial guideposts do not exactly ‘define standing ‘with complete consistency.”
“And some cases suggest standing can be satisfied based on fairly ephemeral injuries and attenuated theories of causation.”
Brown said court precedents would describe as “overly speculative” claims of links between an amnesty program-inspired “flood of immigration” and an increase in crime by illegal aliens.
But she turned sarcastic in that comparison.
“Of course, the link may be no more attenuated than that connecting a potential twenty-centimeter rise in sea level with greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles.”
She concluded, “Today’s holding puts the consequences of our standing jurisprudence in stark relief. If an elected sheriff responsible for the security of a county with a population larger than 21 states cannot bring suit, individual litigants will find it even more difficult to bring similar challenges.”
She pointed out that the opinion only concludes that “general conditions” do not support a lawsuit.
“Our decision holds only that Sheriff Arpaio lacks standing … not that [amnesty] programs are categorically shielded from suit,” she wrote. And, she said, “Today’s decision does not take issue with the claim that unlawful immigration carries consequences.”
“Our jurisprudence on standing has many shortcomings,” she said.
“By prohibiting abstract, general claims, the doctrine aims to ensure that the president’s ‘most important constitutional duty,’ to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed” is not transferred to the courts,” she wrote. “But what if the chief executive decides not to faithfully execute the laws?
“In that case our doctrine falls silent. Paying a nominal filing fee guarantees access to the federal courts, but challenge the executive’s decision to undermine the rule of law and you will likely find your fee wasted.”
Shortly after Hanen’s injunction, the Washington Times reported Cecilia Munoz, White House domestic policy director, addressed the issue: “It’s important to put [Hanen’s order] in context, because the broader executive actions are moving forward. The administration continues to implement the portions of the actions that the president and the Department of Homeland Security took, which were not affected by the court’s ruling.”
But Hanen’s original order had said: “The United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees and Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of United States customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of United States Border Patrol, United States Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, acting director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are hereby enjoined from implementing any and all aspects or phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.”
And even Obama himself said the Constitution barred him from acting alone.
Then-House Speaker John Boehner had listed 22 times when Obama has made such statements.
For example, in October 2010, Obama said: “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. … I’ve got to have some partners to do it. … If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. … I can’t just make the laws up by myself.”