It isn’t surprising that the Obama Justice Department is appealing the Fifth Circuit’s ruling against President Obama’s executive action on immigration. This is the next logical step. It isn’t surprising though the Obama Justice Department is expected to fail in their appeal to the Supreme Court.
DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush issued a statement, saying “The Department of Justice remains committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible in order to allow DHS to bring greater accountability to our immigration system by prioritizing the removal of the worst offenders, not people who have long ties to the United States and who are raising American children. The Department disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court of the United States.”
When the Fifth Circuit issued its ruling, they ruled that the states would suffer financial harm if President Obama’s executive action wasn’t stopped. When the Justice Department argued their case in the Fifth Circuit, they argued that the states didn’t have standing to bring the suit. The Fifth Circuit rejected that argument immediately because the states that filed the lawsuit would have suffered significant financial harm if the injunction was lifted.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to “establish uniform rules of naturalization.” That authority isn’t given to the Executive Branch, which is why it’s found in Article I, which deals with the Legislative Branch, not Article II, which deals with the Executive Branch.
That’s an important distinction because Mr. Rodenbush didn’t argue that the Executive Branch had the authority to act unilaterally. He made a policy argument, not a legal argument.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen granted the temporary injunction preventing the order’s implementation this past February, agreeing with the states that legalizing the presence of so many people would be a “virtually irreversible” action that would cause the states “irreparable harm.”
The administration argued that the executive branch was within its rights in deciding to defer deportation of selected groups of immigrants, including children who were brought to the U.S. illegally.
When Judge Hanen made his ruling, he agreed that the Obama administration hadn’t violated its prosecutorial discretion rights. That wasn’t the basis for his ruling. The basis for his ruling was that the federal government didn’t have the authority to impose additional expenses on the states. That’s because the states have the right to set state budgets. The federal government can’t impose those expenditures on states, especially without congressional approval.