It looks as if the federal court for the District of Columbia is not as enamored with Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio’s ridiculous antics as is our feckless Arizona political media. The Hill reports, ‘Sheriff Joe’ challenges Obama in court:
A federal judge on Monday appeared highly skeptical of a lawsuit from Sheriff Joe Arpaio that challenges the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
After listening to an hour of oral arguments, District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell said she was not prepared to rule on the case the same day. Her opinion on whether to block Obama’s action, she said, would come “very shortly.”
The lawsuit from Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., is the first federal challenge against Obama’s move to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
[Arpaio] did not appear in the D.C. court. But his attorney, Larry Klayman, the founder of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, argued that Obama had overstepped his authority and that his actions violated the separation of powers.
“This is not a question about immigration enforcement. It’s a question about the Constitution. It’s a question about whether the president can override Congress,” Klayman said.
“The president, he is terrible. He is trashing the Constitution.”
Arpaio and his office have been negatively impacted by the executive actions, Klayman argued. The sheriff, who’s unpopular in the immigrant community, could face “bodily harm or death” with more immigrants on the streets. And when federal immigration agents release rather than deport undocumented immigrants, Klayman said, more than a third of them end up back in Maricopa County jails, draining limited resources.
Howell, a former Justice Department official and Senate staffer who was nominated by Obama in 2010, repeatedly interrupted Klayman during his arguments. She said immigrants wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the Obama programs until February at the earliest, and noted that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have been deferring some deportations of immigrants for years.
“If Congress doesn’t like it,” the judge said, “doesn’t Congress have the power to step in and address what misappropriation they think is going on here?” she asked.
Trying to halt Obama’s immigration actions will be one of the top priorities for Republicans when they take over both chambers of Congress in January. GOP lawmakers want to pass legislation barring the administration from using funds to implement Obama’s programs, which the president is expected to veto.
That would set up another Republican showdown with Obama at the end of February, when funding for the Homeland Security Department runs out.
* * *
Earlier this month, Texas and 16 other states filed a lawsuit in federal court against the immigration actions, arguing that Obama was “abdicating his responsibility” to enforce immigration laws. And a federal judge in Pennsylvania, Arthur Schwab, ruled that parts of Obama’s immigration actions were unconstitutional because he decided sentencing for an illegal immigrant who had committed a crime.
Klayman pointed to both of the cases in his arguments. But Howell repeatedly said she found Schwab’s ruling “puzzling” because the case concerned an individual undocumented immigrant — not a direct challenge to Obama’s actions.
“I find it a real puzzle how [Schwab] was able to reach out and find the program unconstitutional when the program didn’t apply to him [the immigrant],” Howell said.
Yeah, about that Judge Schwab. Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo reported that Judge Who Axed Obama Immigration Actions Is No Stranger to controversy (summarized):
1. Judge Schwab has twice been removed from cases by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a rare occurrence for a judge.
2. Judge Schwab voluntarily recused himself amid accusations of bias from 17 ongoing criminal cases.
3. In 2004, the Third Circuit reversed one of Schwab rulings in the case of Bright v. Westmoreland County, where the district court, with only two substantive changes, adopted defendants’ proposed opinion and order as its own.”
4. In a 2008 survey of lawyers with the Allegheny County Bar Association, Schwab received the lowest ranking among federal judges, according to a June 2008 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
5. The Tuesday ruling became the latest controversy for Schwab, whose decision quickly faced criticism from the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The criminal case before him was about an undocumented immigrant who was prosecuted for illegally re-entering the country after he was removed. AILA pointed out that neither side had asked the court to weigh in on Obama’s executive actions; Schwab did so on his own without holding a hearing on the president’s actions, the group said.
Yet another incompetent and unethical conservative activist judge with a lifetime appointment to the bench. Just friggin’ awesome.
And what is the arizona democratic party doing ? Are they organizing marches to arpaio’s gulag? Are they doing anything ?
Arpaio’s “Gulag”?!?!?!? You are absolutely clueless…
I’m not holding out hope that the Democratic party can do much of anything but wait. He’s 82 years old.
I’d like to know much of our taxpayer money is being spent on Arpaio’s latest anti-immigrant project?