Patterico's Pontifications


Texas Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Amnesty

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Patrick Brennan at National Review Online last night:

A federal judge for the Southern District of Texas granted an injunction tonight blocking the implementation of President Obama’s sweeping executive action on immigration from November, which offered a form of temporary legal status and work authorization to millions of illegel immigrants. The judge, Andrew Hanen, is considering a case brought by the attorney generals of 26 states, which alleges that the executive action is improper and unconstitutional, and will harm the states by forcing them to pay for some benefits granted to newly legal immigrants, such as drivers’ licenses, and for higher law-enforcement costs.

The federal government is expected to immediately ask for a stay of the injunction. That would allow the feds to resume the process of preparing to grant quasi-legal status to millions of illegal immigrants — applications for one category of the president amnesty were to open this week. For now, that can’t happen; the decision from a higher court will probably take a few weeks.

Whatever the final decision is, this ruling should a bit of ammunition for Republicans who are currently trying to force some Democrats into agreeing to a government-funding bill in Congress that blocks the implementation of the order, which many Democrats once opposed.

Such an injunction isn’t granted unless the judge feels the plaintiffs have “a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.” Hanen’s ruling offers analysis of whether the states have standing to sue (on a number of grounds, he says they do), and whether they have a good chance at success.

The ruling does not reach Obama’s violation of executive powers, unfortunately. According to Brennan, it merely has to do with legal arcana concerning rulemaking without jumping through the necessary hoops.

You’ll find no original analysis in this here post. Call me lazy, but I don’t feel inclined right now to go read 100 pages of legal yapping that doesn’t even address the central problem with Obama’s action.

But I’ll take what I can get, for as long as it lasts. We’ll see how long that is, I guess.

FLASHBACK: Regular readers might remember Judge Hanen from this post of mine in June 2014. In that post, I quoted a Washington Times piece by Ernest Istook, which quoted Judge Hanen’s criticism of the Obama administration’s actions regarding immigration:

The Department of Homeland Security, instead of enforcing our border security laws, actually assisted the criminal conspiracy [of child-smuggling] in achieving its illegal goals,” writes a federal judge in a court order.

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, issued the order in December. It explains and condemns how today’s crisis was created by President Barack Obama’s laxity and refusal to enforce our immigration laws. . . [A] s Judge Hanen’s order states: “Time and again this court has been told by representatives of the government and the defense that cartels control the entire smuggling process … the government is not only allowing [those paying the child-smugglers] to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so.”

“The DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation. Legally, this situation is no different,” he wrote.

. . . .

Judge Hanen described that the pattern is the same in other cases: “In each case, the DHS completed the criminal conspiracy, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, by delivering the minors to the custody of the parent illegally living in the United States.”

The lefties (by which I mean Big Media) are going to treat this judge like a partisan hack. Mark my words.

53 Responses to “Texas Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Amnesty”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Heard and Understood.

    Bar Sinister (b48c12)

  3. they’ll point out that the judge is a Bush-appointee and has opinions far, far, far , “far out-of-the-mainstream”… their description, not mine.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Each house of Congress needs to censure Obama for his impeachable overreach. No president has ever been censured by both houses — in the normal course of things presidents can’t do things both houses object to. The point of a censure vote is to conclusively demonstrate that the President’s actions have no basis in law and that Congress would never pass such a law in the first place.

    In the end, this will be settled in the courts, but removing the fig leaf of “Congress won’t act because of obstruction”, while calling the bastard out, is useful for that battle.

    Make it Congress AND 26 states declaring this action a usurpation of power that only a minority of the Senate considers unworthy of impeachment.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  5. The lefties (by which I mean Big Media) are going to treat this judge like a partisan hack.

    Already happening over at HuffPo. This is like chumming the waters for them.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  6. they’ll point out that the judge is a Bush-appointee and has opinions far, far, far , “far out-of-the-mainstream”

    Of course, their idea of a centrist judge is Thelton Henderson.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  7. if someone smuggled in 11 million kinder eggs Homeland Security would lose its effing mind and go Full Gestapo faster than you could say gosh these are tasty

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  8. most of the text of the ruling was over my head, but it seemed he was not being
    arcane in fully laying out the reasoning. It is mostly what was said here many time,
    not deporting is one thing, giving them papers and goodies is another.
    The ruling says that deciding whom to pursue to deport is up to the executive discretion.
    However, proceeding to process them in any way shape or form so that they can get identification papers is not discretion but a new action – one which requires a law.

    he also points out that the reasoning “well other Presidents, including Republicans, did it” is not even worthy of discussion. Two wrongs don’t make a correct.

    Probably worth your reading Patterico.

    (i expect the indictment for Judge Hanen from DOJ to come on Thursday)

    seeRpea (6c0f9a)

  9. When is the IRS going to audit this tea bagging enemy of the living god?

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  10. Meghan’s coward daddy argues that we have an obligation to fund this amnesty whether a judge says it’s legal or not

    and to think many here actually voted for this brainwashed freak

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  11. well other Presidents, including Republicans, did it

    Other presidents allowed stuff, on the margins, where legislation was forthcoming. None of them said to Congress: “You deny me my law, so I’m going to order the government to act as I want and you can stuff it unless you got 2/3rd of the vote in each house. And even then, I’ll ignore you.”

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  12. and to think many here actually voted for this brainwashed freak

    And would again, should 2008 ever repeat itself.

    OTOH, I cannot fault people who voted for Obama rather than McCain — there was a chance Obama wasn’t a fool. Voting for him over Romney remains unforgivable.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  13. KevinM , why are quoting out of context?

    seeRpea (6c0f9a)

  14. romney would’ve been better than obama but the idea of him being president is still vaguely nauseating

    i can’t belief the silly lil dumb-bunny was actually considering running again

    no means no weirdo

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  15. Let’s hope it holds. The founders gave the states a legislative voice that was lost with the passage of the 17th amendment. It’ll be interesting to see if the appellate courts respect that. Without standing, what recourse do the states have short of secession?

    crazy (cde091)

  16. The contention of the administration is, that in fact, this is not a rule, but supervisions (unless issuing the papers is some kind of rule)

    This wouldn’t make anything easier in Congress. Only a final decision against him would do that. Obama is not going to sign something rendering the case moot. And there’s a big argument that ireeparable harm will be done if he is right and the opponents are wrong so the ruling should probably be stayed.

    But it doesn’t matter as dar as the Homeland Security bill is concerned if this ruling is stayed or not. It still won’t be moot, and Obama is not going to make it moot.

    It might possibly make it easier to reach a compromise on amnesty. But that’s veyr hard anyway, and we’re heading into the 2016 election with this unresolved, and it is bound to be abig issue in the next presidential election.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  17. It’s a federal immigration that they are asking not to be officially unenforced, nnot a satte one. If they insisting on state’s rights, they’d pass their own independent immigration law that would differ from the federal one both in allowing and in forbidding.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  18. I am surprised wh lawyers were able to find Brownsville..
    My great aunt (rip) used to own apartments in Brownsville my memory of the place was hot, muggy, dirty, and a little rough around the edges.. and that was just her units.

    steveg (794291)

  19. Yesterday Senator Jeff Sessions released a comprehensive timeline outlining the Obama Administration’s efforts to dismantle our immigration laws, starting essentially from the start of Barky’s first term. It’s a very long read, but it brings back a number of things I had forgotten about and illustrates how comprehensively this Administration has gone about undermining our laws and bypassing Congress.

    A horrific read, but worth it:

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. Bravo Judge Hanen for not taking the money as so many rinos have from the Chamber of Commerce.

    mg (31009b)

  21. Per the headline on Drudge, Obama is appealing this ruling.

    As a reminder:

    Speaking of future court actions based upon the premise that a nation’s government and citizenss have no right to favor fellow citizens:

    Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrying out airstrikes in Libya was different from U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant forces in Iraq, Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told a briefing, because the U.S. was acting in Iraq, in a “very targeted” manner, at the request of its government.

    “This wasn’t some unilateral decision by the United States to strike targets inside Iraq.”

    “We discourage other nations from taking a part in Libya’s issues through violence,” Kirby said. “We want the issues solved in Libya to be done peacefully and through good governance and politics and not violence.”

    No doubt we didn’t rescue American hostages from ISIS because that would have risked the lives of too many ISIS hostage takers. It’s just wrong to kill 10 ISIS hostage takers in exchange for one measly American life. An American life isn’t worth any more than anybody else’s life; they’re all some mom’s little angel.

    And dammit, al-Sissi needs to get that through his thick skull when it comes to Egyptian Copts. Whose continued existence insults the prophet of Islam in any case.

    From my careful study of Barack Obama and his “tells,” I believe Prom Queen is about to take decisive action against al-Sissi. Which means of course giving a speech. And when President Selfie pulls out the stops, that means a speech at the UN.

    In which he’ll remind al-Sissi that there’s no military solution to terrorism. The future doesn’t belong to people such as the Copts, mentioning that filthy kuffar “anti-Muslim” video maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula who personally killed our Libyan ambassador and three other Americans whose lives don’t really matter anyway, who insult the prophet of Islam.

    Then he’ll remind the Egyptian President that no country has the right to criticize ISIS because we’ve all done some really bad s*** in the past. Then President Yorkie Terrier will provide an emotional example by evoking Ferguson and America’s continued racial sins.

    If that doesn’t work, I think President Freshman Dorm Resident Assistant will actually pull the trigger this time. And take al-Sissi to the International Court of Justice for the unforgiveable crime of killing jihadists.

    Allahu Akbar!

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  22. We are in the best of hands.

    …HARF: We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether —

    MATTHEWS: We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or fifty lifetimes. There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?

    HARF: We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…

    I expect this crap from the Freshman Dorm Administration’s sorority rush chairwoman/State Department spokeswhatever/senior Resident-Assistant-in-Chief’s national security and #hashtag adviser Marie Harf (D-Nordstrom Rack) but if I were RADM Kirby I’d commit seppuku rather than go on TV and repeat this crap.

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  23. I really want to hear these folks try to tell Scalia that “prosecutorial discretion” extends to printing green cards.

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  24. i have a lot of hopes on hold but i don’t get angry

    not like angry illegal immigrant Steven Arteaga who’s mad that he’s not being handed everything he wants for free

    I just buckle down and hope all the more fiercely

    and I try to be grateful for all the lord has given me

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  25. Extra credit:

    How is blocking states from enforcing immigration laws when the feds won’t like Obama condemning Egypt for bombing ISIS when we won’t?

    Kevin M (56aae1)

  26. “What they are doing to the community, they are taking what little hope they have from not being deported or having a work permit or having a better view of the American Dream,” Arteaga said. “They are taking what little vision we have and are throwing it away and tearing it apart.”

    precious monkey needs a therapy dog like a fish needs a cell phone for so he can call his turtle friends in the gapagus islands and hear all the latest gossips about those crazy finches

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  27. I’ll take a stab at it, Kevin.

    Everybody must be prevented from defending civilization and stopping the barbarians everywhere.

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  28. Has Artega ever explained why they didn’t come in via legal means?

    seeRpea (181740)

  29. I understand the Obama administration is providing intelligence and non-lethal aid to ISIS in response to al-Sissi’s illegal and unprovoked military assault on their Mosques, schools, day care centers, and Yazidi/Nigerian-staffed brothels rest and recreation centers.

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  30. Obama calls it a legitimate exercise of his prosecutorial discretion while he files his motions with the International Court of Justice.

    Steve57 (6b5a38)


    Islamic State militants ‘burn to death 45 in Iraq’

    We’ve got to address the root causes of this. Good governance, unemployment, failure to provide universal health insurance, lack of access to child care, and our unfair immigration laws.

    Clearly this judge in Brownsville cares nothing for the safety of our men and women in uniform.

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  32. “We’ve got to address the root causes of this.”

    Steve57 – Don’t forget RAAAAACISM!!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. confuzzling discrepancy in the reportings

    A spokesman for the Justice Department declined further comment. The department is expected to seek an emergency stay of the ruling while it pursues an appeal at the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.*


    The Department of Homeland Security, the agency which would have implemented DACA and DAPA, indicated that the Justice Department would not be seeking a stay, which would have blocked Hanen’s injunction and allowed DHS to start accepting applications if a judge ruled in the government’s favor.*

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  34. Steve57 (6b5a38) — 2/17/2015 @ 11:01 am

    It’s just wrong to kill 10 ISIS hostage takers in exchange for one measly American life. An American life isn’t worth any more than anybody else’s life; they’re all some mom’s little angel.

    Or all created in God’s image. I think you can favor those close to you, but that’s besides the point – the hostage takers are all criminals – the problem is killinmg people who are NOT hostage takers and risks to the would-be rescuers.

    What they were looking for was certainty that it was the right site etc.

    Now with Libyya what you’ve got here is this international boundary business. But this is not somethng that originated in Libya, nor is it a normal dispuite or even an ordinary violent struggle for power.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  35. 29. seeRpea (181740) — 2/17/2015 @ 11:28 am

    Has Artega ever explained why they didn’t come in via legal means?

    There wasn’t any. If there were, you wouldn’t call it amnesty, nor would there be comparisons to bank robbery.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  36. Just in case anyone still harbors a shred of doubt, thanks to Preezy Selfie we are an international laughing stock.

    …But now, the time for an intervention, upon the repeated request of what many see as the legitimate government of Libya (for there are two separately functioning governments as the country faces political rifts) has finally come.

    …Only last month, the Libyan parliament meeting in Tobruk called upon the U.S. led anti-ISIS coalition to extend the range of its air attacks against ISIS affiliate strongholds in Libya. It is very significant that both Cairo and Tobruk are describing Egypt’s retaliatory air strikes as a joint mission carried out by the Libyan Air Force as well as the Egyptian force.

    Little more than a week ago, Libya’s Ambassador to the UAE Dr. Aref Nayed warned in a series of interviews during a brief visit to Washington that “ISIS’s expansion in Libya is much worse than what is publically understood” that ISIS is using Libya as both “an ATM machine and an airport” and that there is “an unfortunate state of denial about of all of this and that is the most dangerous thing.”

    Dr. Aref Nayed said as he cast accusing glances at Golf-Course-One on the third green at Andrews AFB as King Putt gets ready to tee off…

    …The Libyan government in Tobruk has repeatedly welcomed U.N. sponsored talks with the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated rival government but how can the White House see negotiations for a political settlement as the sole response to a perverse global terrorist movement operating in Libya? A political settlement with whom….with ISIS? It boggles the mind.

    Peeshaw! President Mean Girl has two years left. You think your mind is boggled now? Just wait.

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  37. It’s hard to get a stay on a preventive injunction which only maintains the status quo.

    nk (dbc370)

  38. And from the Fifth Circuit? Can you hear me snickering from all the way over there?

    nk (dbc370)

  39. It’s just our esteemed Preezy’s unique management style, Mr. feets. As soon as he sees something about this on ESPN Sports Center he’ll hold a press conference to express his outrage and then launch an internal investigation which will prevent these competing spokespeople from ever speaking to the press again.

    Confuzzling discrepancies solved.

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  40. happyfeet (a037ad) — 2/17/2015 @ 12:00 pm

    confuzzling discrepancy in the reportings

    In the first paragraph the Departmentof Justice declines to coment, and the reporter speculates as to what it might do.

    The second paragraph says the Department of Homeland Security says that DOJ will not be seeking a stay.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  41. March Madness is almost upon us.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  42. Maybe the intelligence community should buy air time on ESPN so it can be sure President Miley Cyrus gets his/her/its Presidential Daily Briefing.

    Steve57 (6b5a38)

  43. you dull-witted Dems
    common sense not so common
    eat yer Top Ramen

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  44. “One must always say what one sees. But especially – and this is the hard part – one must always see what one sees.”
    – Charles Peguy

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  45. Anyone see the latest Gallup Poll ratings on President “Goddamn America,” linked at the Or polls showing all the kiss-kiss-hugs-hugs sentiments directed at Hillary “dodging-sniper-fire” Clinton by a not-small percentage of the populace?

    We’ve apparently caught a serious case of Euro-sclerosis, a good dose of Mexico-itis, and a touch of Kirchner Syndrome.

    A large number of Americans appear to be committed to proving the theory that great nations have a shelf life of not much more than 200 years.

    Mark (c160ec)

  46. Mark: Yes at times it truly looks bleak. However, there is the possibility of a revival in USA citizenship (people becoming more knowledgeable and more concerned about the principles of our Constitution). We do see it from time to time: elections of 1994, 2010, and 2014. It does look like the Republicans are getting serious on immigration: see Speaker Boehner’s appearance with Chris Wallace, and the report about Obama’s violations of immigration laws by Senator Sessions. Then we have a court where jurisprudence broke out, issuing an injunction against Obama’s usurpations. I think there is hope.

    Ken in Camarillo (2c0dee)

  47. interesting

    national soros radio front-paged a weepy weepy poor poor sad sad illegal immigrant sob story on the injunction for like just a few hours then they pulled it

    i’m guessing the comments were showing that their rich white audience wasn’t as on board with the narrative as national soros radio was hoping

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  48. ” the DHS completed the criminal conspiracy”

    …just like “fast and furious”…

    sound awake (a5c9f1)

  49. In 1992, Judge Hanen was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to be a United States District Judge, but the nomination lapsed.

    On January 23, 2002, he was again nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas vacated by Filemon Vela, Sr.

    Hanen was confirmed by a 97-0 vote of the United States Senate on May 9, 2002, and received his commission on May 10, 2002. In case you’re wondering, yes, Hillary! was in the Senate then, and she voted yea on the nomination.

    elissa (898575)

  50. 51. No, they don’t believe in he lump of labor theory.

    And, by the way, if you do, you have to believe it in <i everywhere.

    One person getting a job simply does not mean, over time, that someone else will have a harder time getting a job, or that the job he gets will be less good. As a matter of fact, it’s the opposite – the job he gets will be better, and it will be easier to get, because the size of the economy will be a bit bigger.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

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