Texas Judge Hanen previously blocked execution of President Obama’s “executive action”, the DOJ now seeking to eliminate the injunction…. Hanen is well positioned to have his decision upheld. However, like all Obama action – nothing is ever actually safe, just because the law is being followed.
(Via Associated Press) Federal appeals judges on Friday peppered lawyers on both sides with questions in a fight over President Barack Obama’s move to shield millions of immigrants from deportation.
A 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel held a special hearing in a closely watched case that is holding up Obama’s immigration action.
A coalition of 26 states, led by Texas sued to block the plan. The hearing was on an appeal of a Texas judge’s injunction.
The Justice Department argued that Texas has no legal standing in the matter. Texas’ solicitor general countered that granting legal status to immigrants will be costly for Texas.
The judges did not rule and took the case under advisement.
[…] U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, granted a preliminary injunction on Feb. 16 at the request of the states that oppose Obama’s action. Hanen’s rulings have temporarily blocked the Obama administration from implementing the policies that would allow as many as 5 million people in the U.S. illegally to remain.
The Justice Department appealed his ruling and Friday’s special hearing — which took more than two hours — was lively as two of the judges had plenty of questions. They centered mostly on whether an individual state can seek to undo a federal immigration policy.
Benjamin Mizer, the Justice Department’s principal deputy assistant attorney general, called Texas’ suit unprecedented and argued that immigration policy is a domain of the federal government.
“If Texas is right, it could challenge an individual’s right to seek asylum,” Mizer said. “The states do not have standing in the downstream effects of a federal immigration policy.”
Scott Keller, Texas’ solicitor general, argued that Obama’s immigration move has direct consequences because Texas will incur the costs of providing drivers’ licenses, schooling and health care to immigrants granted permission to stay in the United States.
“This is one of the largest changes in immigration policy in the nation’s history,” Keller said. “What this is doing is conferring a legal presence” to people now living illegally in the country, he said. “We absolutely have a stake,” he added.
Judges Jennifer Elrod, a George W. Bush appointee, and Stephen Higginson, an Obama appointee, often interrupted the legal arguments with queries. Judge Jerry Smith, a Ronald Reagan appointee, was the third judge on the panel.
Elrod seemed skeptical of the Justice Department’s arguments while Higginson of those brought by Texas. (read more)