District Judge Beryl Howell dismissed Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive amnesty. Howell, an Obama appointee and former staffer to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., ruled that Arpaio did not meet the legal requirements for establishing standing because his challenge did not demonstrate direct harm from Obama’s executive actions.
Arpaio’s lawsuit argued that Obama’s amnesty program will increase illegal immigration and, in turn, increase the burden on law enforcement agencies. Howell’s ruling stated, “The plaintiff’s case raises important questions regarding the impact of illegal immigration on this Nation, but the questions amount to generalized grievances which are not proper for the Judiciary to address.”
The judge said the executive amnesty could have the opposite effect and actually reduce the burden on law enforcement. “Since the undocumented immigrants engaging in criminal activity are the cause of the injuries complained about by the plaintiff, the more focused federal effort to remove these individuals may end up helping, rather than exacerbating the harm to, the plaintiff,” Howell wrote.
Howell’s ruling lends support to the Administration’s argument that the executive amnesty falls within a legal exercise of prosecutorial discretion. “Although the challenged deferred action programs represent a large class-based program, such breadth does not push the programs over the line from the faithful execution of the law to the unconstitutional rewriting of the law for the following reason: The programs still retain provisions for meaningful case-by-case review,” she wrote.
Arpaio plans to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Administration still faces a lawsuit brought by 25 states that also challenges the constitutionality of the executive amnesty. The judge in that case is a George W. Bush appointee.
Updated: Mon, May 15th 2017 @ 4:43pm EDT