In a stunning setback to President Obama’s effort to defer deportation and grant certain citizenship rights to millions of illegal immigrants, a federal appeals court has just upheld an injunction blocking Obama’s executive order on amnesty. The Washington Times reports that the highly anticipated ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit marks the second major legal setback for an administration that was skirting the Congress and charging ahead on its highly controversial program to defer deportation for as many as 5 million illegals.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of Texas, which had sued to stop the amnesty, on all key points, finding that Mr. Obama’s amnesty likely broke the law governing how big policies are to be written.
“The public interest favors maintenance of the injunction,” the judges wrote in the majority opinion.
As Western Journalism has reported, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas recently refused to lift his order temporarily blocking the president’s unilateral action on amnesty. The angry judge also issued what The Washington Examiner called “a scathing rebuke” to Obama’s lawyers for “misleading” him about steps the administration had already taken to implement the president’s amnesty orders.
Obama’s Justice Department had asked the three-judge Appeals Court to reverse Judge Hanen’s order temporarily blocking the amnesty plan. Hanen’s original order to put the brakes on the president’s executive action was in response to a lawsuit filed by 26 states alleging Obama’s unilateral orders on amnesty were unconstitutional.
A Fox News report on Tuesday’s split-decision Appeals Court defeat for Obama notes: “The states suing to block the plan, led by Texas, argue that Obama acted outside his authority and that the changes would force them to invest more in law enforcement, health care and education. But the White House has said the president acted within his powers to fix a ‘broken immigration system.’”
In Tuesday’s ruling, the two 5th Circuit judges who voted to deny the stay and thus keep the injunction in force said in a written opinion that the federal government’s lawyers are unlikely to succeed on the merits of that appeal.