A federal judge today declared parts of President Obama’s executive amnesty to be unconstitutional, but did not issue an injunction stopping its implementation, The Washington Times reports. The judge said Obama exceeded a president’s discretion and accused him of writing laws — something only Congress can do under the Constitution. While the judge’s ruling has no direct bearing on Obama’s executive amnesty, it suggests direct challenges to its constitutionality may gain traction in other courts where standing is achieved.
Judge Arthur Schwab from the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled in a case involving an illegal alien who reentered the country illegally after being deported. Before sentencing, the judge asked the prosecution and defense for arguments on whether the executive amnesty was applicable to the defendant. To make a determination concerning applicability, the judge determined he must first rule on the constitutionality of the executive amnesty.
The judge wrote that the president’s used of deferred action exceeds prosecutorial discretion because it provides for “a systemic and rigid process under which a broad group of individuals will be treated differently than others based on arbitrary classifications rather than case-by-case examinations.” The judge added the executive amnesty allows illegal aliens who fall within broad categories of individuals to obtain substantive rights. Judge Schwab concluded the Administration’s “unilateral legislative actions violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the take care clause, and therefore is unconstitutional.”
The judge’s ruling comes a week before the district court for the District of Columbia hears initial arguments in a case brought by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that directly challenges the constitutionality of the executive amnesty. Another direct challenge is proceeding in Texas in a case lodged by 24 of the nation’s governors.
Updated: Mon, May 15th 2017 @ 4:45pm EDT