President Obama first said he didn’t have the authority to change America’s immigration laws to allow amnesty for millions of illegal aliens already in the country. Then he had administration officials re-interpret existing law to allow that amnesty.
When he was sued by 26 states, led by Texas, he claimed he still could go ahead with his plan, but lost in court.
Then he lost at the appellate court level. And at the Supreme Court.
But the White House now is insisting the high court re-visit the case the justices already decided, because it didn’t turn out the way administration officials wanted.
A report from Pete Williams at NBC has confirmed the Obama administration has submitted a request for the justices to consider the case again.
“The request was a long shot, because such moves are usually rejected,” he reported.
It was just a month ago that the justices, on a 4-4 tie, left standing the lower appellate court decision that found Obama did not have the authority to mandate the changes in federal law he wanted.
That lower court had affirmed a district judge’s ruling that the Constitution doesn’t give the president that authority.
In fact, when he was speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner listed online 22 times when Obama made statements that he is not allowed to do what he did.
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.”
But in 2014, the administration announced an immigration-law change that would “shield more than four million people from deportation,” NBC said.
Texas, and more than two dozen other states sued, because of the massive new demands for public services such as school and health care that would be imposed by those who previously had been subject to deportation.
“In seeking rehearing – a [chance] to argue the same case over again – the Justice Department said the move ‘is consistent with historical practice and reflects the need for prompt and definitive resolution of this important case,'” NBC said.
The 4-4- tie was set up by the death earlier this year of Justice Antonin Scalia. A tie at the high court, by procedure, means the lower court ruling is left standing.
It was Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program that was derailed. It was set up to let certain categories of illegal aliens stay in America.
The Obama administration announced the program as a series of administrative orders in November 2014, and said the actions were necessary because Congress refused to make the changes in law that he wanted.
Texas and several other states launched a lawsuit to halt the plan from taking effect, and shortly after, a federal district judge in Texas and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit found in favor for the states – that the White House could not implement its program.
But the Obama administration fought back, claiming the states don’t have standing, or legal authority, to sue the federal government over immigration policy.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans had ruled with a two-to-one voice to uphold a lower court’s injunction blocking the White House from going forward with its deferred-action plan – and to make the injunction permanent.
“The president must follow the rule of law, just like everybody else,” argued Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was leading up the coalition of 26 states suing the Obama administration for its executive actions to grant temporary amnesty to millions of illegals.
He went on, the Washington Post reported: “Throughout this process, the Obama administration has aggressively disregarded the constitutional limits on executive power.”
While the case was pending at the lower courts, 113 members of Congress said in a court brief Obama’s amnesty program violates the Constitution.
“Our position is clear – President Obama’s executive action is unconstitutional and impermissibly disrupts the separation of powers,” said Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed on behalf of Congress.
WND broke the story when a federal judge in Texas granted a temporary injunction halting Obama’s executive-order driven amnesty program.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered the government not to proceed with any portion of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.
“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,” the ruling said.
The dispute elevated to the astonishing when, in his Texas courtroom, the judge bluntly asked a Justice Department attorney whether or not President Obama and federal officials can be believed regarding the administration’s executive action on immigration.
“I can trust what Secretary [Jeh] Johnson says … what President Obama says?” Hanen asked, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Fox News reported the judge even went further, instructing Justice Department attorney Kathleen Hartnett, “That’s a yes or no question.”
She responded, “Yes, your honor.”
Hanen called the hearing because of questions about whether the Justice Department misled the judge by claiming that deportation reprieves would not go forward before he made a ruling. It turned out that federal officials had delayed deportation for 108,000 people for three years and granted them work permits.
The administration had argued the reprieves were granted under a 2012 program that was not impacted by Hanen’s order. But the 2012 program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, granted only two-year reprieves, while Obama’s November order allows three-year deferrals.
Hartnett told the judge “government attorneys hadn’t properly explained this because they had been focused on other parts of the proposed action,” Fox reported.
Hanen remained skeptical, and it was then he asked, “Can I trust what the president says?”
He later told the lawyers representing the government to go to ethics classes.