Judicial Watch Opposes Obama Administration Emergency Stay Request in Texas Amnesty Case
FEBRUARY 26, 2015
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that it filed an amicus curiae brief in opposition to the Obama administration’s request for an emergency, expedited stay of a federal court order of a key component of President Obama’s executive amnesty. Specifically, it asked that the administration be allowed to implement the President’s Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which purportedly authorizes work permits and other benefits to deportable illegal aliens. The brief was filed yesterday in State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al. (No. 14-cv-00254).
Judicial Watch, which has filed dozens of lawsuits to both expose and halt government policies that undermine immigration law, asked the U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen to preserve the status quo and deny the Obama administration’s claims that it ought to be able to proceed to overturn our nation’s laws against illegal immigration:
If the Court were to grant [the Obama administration’s] motion, it would cast aside immigration laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. These laws have been in place for almost 30 years. In seeking a stay, [the Obama administration] fail[s] to demonstrate why destroying 30 years of status quo and undermining duly enacted laws is necessary at this immediate date. None of the reasons cited by [the Obama administration] in [its] motion answer the question: why today?
Judicial Watch pointed to concerns raised by U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in a recent decision by the Supreme Court to allow one federal judge to overturn various state laws related to traditional marriage:
Because granting [the Obama administration’s] emergency, expedited motion would allow millions of individuals to begin applying for benefits and services they otherwise would not be able to receive, the recent admonition by U.S. Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Scalia after the Court denied a stay that failed to preserve the status quo is pertinent. In Strange v. Searcy, the Supreme Court denied a stay of a federal injunction preventing the Attorney General of Alabama from enforcing several provisions of Alabama law defining marriage as a legal union of one man and one woman pending review by the Court. The Court ultimately denied the stay, requiring Alabama to begin issuing marriage licenses for same-sex unions. As a result, individuals undoubtedly have begun receiving licenses, benefits, and services that they otherwise would not be eligible to receive. If Alabama is to succeed on the merits, it will be required to void marriages and retract all benefits and services provided as a result of the marriages. In objecting to the denial of the stay, Justices Thomas and Scalia wrote:
The [Supreme] Court look[ed] the other way as yet another Federal District Judge casts aside state laws without making any effort to preserve the status quo pending the Court’s resolution of a constitutional question . . . This acquiescence may well be seen as a signal of the Court’s intended resolution of that question. This is not the proper way to discharge our Article III responsibilities. And, it is indecorous for this Court to pretend that it is.
“The Obama administration is now asking a federal court to allow President Obama to govern as a king who can rewrite, ignore, and create new law based on personal whims or political needs,” stated Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president. “Judicial Watch has highlighted the Obama administration’s lawlessness on immigration for years. And now a federal judicial ruling, which seems factually unassailable, confirms Obama’s absolute abdication of his duty to uphold the law. The only emergency in this case is the threat to public safety caused by this president’s unconstitutional refusal to obey and enforce our nation’s laws against illegal immigration.”