By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, December 16, A Federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that President Obama’s recent Executive action on immigration is unconstitutional. Alabama’s Republican leaders were quick to respond to the news.
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R from Montrose) wrote on Facebook, “One federal judge has already deemed President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration to be unconstitutional. According to the judge: “President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional.” Fighting back against this executive action will be the top priority when Congress returns early next month.”
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said in an email to Republicans, “Did you know we had a victory today? Just a short while ago, a federal judge ruled against Obama’s Executive Order granting amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants. This is a huge victory in our fight against Obama’s unconstitutional and unprecedented power grab through the use of executive orders.”
US Representative Mo Brooks (R from Huntsville) wrote on Facebook, “Yesterday a federal judge in Pennsylvania entered an order declaring that President Obama’s “prosecutorial discretion” executive amnesty order is unconstitutional. Judge Arthur Schwab stated, “President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional.”
The Speaker of the Alabama House of Representative Mike Hubbard (R from Auburn) said in a statement on Facebook, “More needs to be done, but, this is a good first step towards reining in President Obama’s unprecedented executive order on immigration. The rule of law is clear: the President simply cannot make up new laws; Congress passes laws. Share if you agree that Obama’s executive order was unconstitutional.”
US District Court Judge Arthur Schwab issued the 38 page ruling on Tuesday in the case of Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, a Honduran immigrant who was charged in Federal court with unlawful re-entry. Escobar was first arrested for drunken driving in Pennsylvania.
Judge Schwab wrote, “President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional.” Schwab wrote, “President Obama’s November 20, 2014 Executive Action goes beyond prosecutorial discretion because: (a) it provides for a systematic and rigid process by which a broad group of individuals will be treated differently than others based upon arbitrary classifications, rather than case-by-case examination; and (b) it allows undocumented immigrants, who fall within these broad categories, to obtain substantive rights.”
The Justice Department argued that President Obama’s actions fall within the traditional realm of the executive’s discretion. Reasoning rejected by Schwab. Schwab cited a number of quotations made in recent years by President Obama (who taught Constitutional law) that he did not have the power to grant millions of illegal aliens amnesty by himself.
Politico’s Josh Gerstein is reporting that an anonymous administration official told Politico, “The judge’s ruling has absolutely no effect on the president’s executive actions. The judge hasn’t been asked to rule on them, and the judge’s order does not affect them. [The Department of Homeland Security] continues to prepare to implement the Executive actions.”
This report includes original reporting by Politico that was referenced by Chairman Armistead.