There is an important oral argument taking place today in the Fifth Circuit regarding Obama’s amnesty.
First, a paragraph of background: there have been two amnesty-related cases of note percolating through the Fifth Circuit, and it’s important to keep them straight. One case has been around a while: the challenge to Obama’s action on the “Dreamers” — his “deferred action for childhood arrivals” or DACA. In the second case, a judge who has been very critical of Obama’s amnesty issued an injunction barring implementation of Obama’s recent and far more sweeping executive amnesty.
The DACA case has been decided; more on that below. Oral argument will be heard today on the injunction regarding the sweeping amnesty. Last month, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line gave us a summary and preview:
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued an order that sets oral argument in Texas v. United States for April 17. This is the case in which Texas and other states challenge President Obama’s executive amnesty.
In district court proceedings, Judge Hanen temporarily enjoined the government from enforcing Obama’s program to grant lawful status to millions of illegal immigrants. The government has moved for a stay of that order, pending appeal.
The oral argument on April 17, for which two hours have been allocated, will pertain only to the government’s motion for a stay. As for the merits of the injunction, the Fifth Circuit’s order sets a briefing schedule and permits the filing of briefs by a number of amici, including Senators Cruz and Cornyn.
Mirengoff reports that the government is arguing that Obama’s amnesty is somehow “essential to national security” because it helps ICE agents “quickly distinguish dangerous immigrants from those who pose no threat.” Expect this to come up in the oral argument.
Oral arguments can be very revealing, as the resolution of the DACA/Dreamers case shows. Recall my prediction. Last month, after listening to the audio of the oral argument in that case, I told you:
I’m the guy who told you that the panel was going to rule against Obama in Halbig, based on listening to the oral argument. Unfortunately, I have to be the guy to tell you that — unless I am interpreting the argument incorrectly — the Fifth Circuit is probably going to rule for Obama here.
A federal appeals court’s ruling Tuesday upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit over President Barack Obama’s first major executive action to aid illegal immigrants could help the Obama administration fight a more significant suit that has resulted in Obama’s second wave of immigration orders being halted nationwide.
A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that several immigration agents and the state of Mississippi lacked legal standing to sue over Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because evidence that the agents or the state would be harmed by the effort was too speculative.
“Neither Mississippi nor the Agents have alleged a sufficiently concrete and particularized injury that would give Plaintiffs standing to challenge DACA,” Judge W. Eugene Davis wrote in an opinion joined by Judges Carolyn King and Priscilla Owen.
Always trust content from Patterico.
We’ll see what today’s argument holds in store. I admit to a lack of optimism, but that is characteristic of my personality. I’ll report more on it when I get a chance to hear the audio.
UPDATE: I should note that on the earlier case, I thought they might grant standing but deny on the merits — and they tossed it on standing. Details.
The audio of today’s oral argument is here. I have heard about half an hour or so. More later.