A former top aide to Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy tossed out an anti-amnesty lawsuit by claiming the plaintiff lacks the “standing” needed to oppose President Barack Obama’s rewrite of immigration law.
“The role of the Judiciary is to resolve cases and controversies properly brought by parties with a concrete and particularized injury — not to engage in policymaking better left to the political branches,” said district judge Beryl Howell, who worked from 1993 to 2003 as a top legal advisor to Leahy, a liberal supporter of higher immigration.
Howell was appointed to the district court by Obama in 2010.
Obama and other progressives cheered the decision, which marks one victory in what is expected to be a very high-stakes battle.
The case is only a warm-up for the main legal battle, which is taking place in Texas.
In Texas, top legal officials from 24 states have filed a case with a judge who has already slammed Obama’s failure to enforce immigration law. They’re also asking the judge to stop Obama’s amnesty, pending a final decision on Obama’s policy by the Supreme Court.
The states’ lawsuit may decide whether Obama’s amnesty survives. That’s largely because top GOP leaders tacitly support Obama’s policy, which provides corporate donors with several million additional taxpayer-subsidised workers and consumers.
In December, GOP leaders declined to stop funding needed to implement Obama’s amnesty, despite evidence that his amnesty is illegal and unpopular, especially among the GOP voters who helped elect a record number of GOP senators and representatives in November.
Instead, GOP leaders pushed though a favor for Wall Street that allows banks to make risky investments using funds protected by taxpayer-funded federal insurance.
Howell’s decision dismissed a court case brought by anti-establishment lawyer Larry Klayman, on behalf of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The case claimed that Obama’s policy change is unconstitutional and should be stopped.
Arpaio may appeal the case.
After Howell issued her expected rejection, the White House applauded.
“Judge Howell’s decision today confirms what the Department of Justice and scholars throughout the country have been saying all along: the President’s executive actions on immigration are lawful,” said the White House statement.
Howell dismissed the case while claiming that Arpaio had not suffered sufficient direct damage from Obama’s policy to gain so-called “standing” that would justify a legal hearing.
The 24 state officials are likely to win standing, largely because Obama’s policy forces their taxpayers to spend billions educating and aiding Obama’s illegals.
The White House’s quick reaction to the Howell decision suggests Obama is rallying his political and legal allies to block the Texas lawsuit.
“The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that federal officials can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws, and the actions announced by the President are consistent with those taken by administrations of both parties for the last half century,” said the White House’s statement.
Under Obama’s Nov. 20 immigration policy, he is providing work permits, federal aid and drivers’ licenses to roughly five million illegals. He has also said that he will not repatriate the roughly 7 million illegals who are not getting work permits
In December, the government reported that immigrants had won nearly half of jobs added since 2010, leaving fewer U.S.-born Americans with jobs in 2014 than held jobs in 2007.