On the heels of a tough Senate fight that initially saw Democrats oppose granting fast-track authority on trade deals, President Obama was just dealt a fresh blow related to what some say is another example of Presidential overreach.
As Reuters reports, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that an executive order on immigration designed to prevent the deportation of undocumented immigrants will remain on hold as 26 Republican state governors oppose the plan. Here’s more:
By a 2-1 vote that could pave the way to a Supreme Court ruling, the judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that Obama's executive action should remain on hold pending further judicial proceedings.
The decision further delays Obama's immigration order, which was first blocked by a Brownsville, Texas lower court judge in February.
The plaintiffs, all states led by Republican governors, said the federal government exceeded its authority in demanding whole categories of immigrants be protected.
Democrat Obama's administration has said it is within its rights to ask the Department of Homeland Security to use discretion before deporting nonviolent migrants with U.S. family ties.
But the judges' opinion said the approval rate of Obama's earlier executive action on immigration, aimed at people brought into the United States as children, was too high to reflect true discretion.
The President blames Congress, whose inability (or refusal) to compromise on the way to passing legislation he says effectively forced his hand in November when he decided to bypass lawmakers in an effort to shield nonviolent immigrants. Now, the same court will decide whether The White House can appeal.
The 5th Circuit will rule again in the coming months on whether the Obama administration can appeal the block to the executive order. That decision may be made by a new panel of judges and will take into account more evidence.
Immigration advocates have been wary of the prospect that the 5th Circuit, known as one of the most conservative in the nation, would rule with the administration.
The lawsuit was filed in December, and on Feb. 16, Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court in Brownsville ordered a preliminary injunction on the programs while he ruled on the constitutional issues in the suit.In a statement, Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, said Mr. Obama had tried to impose “a drastic change in immigration policy” without the consent of Congress. The appeals court decision is “a victory for those committed to preserving the rule of law in America,” Mr. Paxton said. “We will continue to fight the brazen lawlessness that has become a trademark of the Obama administration.”
The legal wrangling suggests that Mr. Obama and his aides may have underestimated the legal and political challenges to offering protections to more than four million illegal immigrants without a congressional vote.