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Last week, Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville, Texas handed down a setback for executive action when he claimed that the Obama Administration had improperly followed procedure in announcing the program. As we and others have reported, Hanen is hardly nonpartisan — he has a long history of taking anti-immigrant positions and making anti-immigrant claims. More evidence for that comes from Kerry Eleveld at Daily Kos today, who writes about another case where an anti-immigrant right-winger needed a sympathetic judge — and deliberately chose to go to Hanen. Read the full story here or an excerpt below:
It’s unanimous: right-wing conservatives who have a beef with President Obama on immigration choose to file their lawsuits with federal judge Andrew Hanen in Texas.
That’s not just the case with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott—who led the charge on the 26-state challenge to President Obama’s 2014 immigration actions—it’s also true for none other than the birther queen herself, Orly Taitz, who last year sought to stop the federal government from bussing immigrant minors from Texas to temporary detention centers outside the state.
Although her case against the Department of Homeland Security, Taitz v. Johnson, is entirely separate from Abbott’s lawsuit, Texas v. U.S., it’s no accident that they both ended up in the same court. Taitz chose to steer her case toward Texas-based federal judge Andrew Hanen rather than, for instance, filing in a federal court based in California, where she lives. While no one has ever definitely proven that Abbott & Co. “shopped around” for a friendly judge to hear their case—which would be at the very least unethical—Taitz clearly did have her eye on Hanen from the start, and with good reason.
Taitz needed to find a sympathetic judge because, as one might expect, her lawsuit was a piece of work. In her initial complaint, filed July 14, 2014, Taitz accuses the federal government of “trafficking illegal aliens” and seeks either “an emergency immediate turnaround and deportation” of the children or a two-month quarantine of them in a FEMA facility. At the time, the government was trying to find a humane and legal way of absorbing the influx of thousands of refugee children from Central America.
After Judge Hanen ordered the U.S. government to explain why he shouldn’t grant Taitz’s request, she was ecstatic. In a letter to the executive assistant of anti-immigrant Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, Taitz wrote, “We now have a real opportunity to stop this ongoing trafficking of illegal aliens, which is currently being carried [out] by the Federal government.”
Read more at Daily Kos.