Earlier this year, we began a new “SCOTUS 101” series providing key resources on the US vs. Texas immigration lawsuit the Supreme Court will soon take up.
In a new Medium post, “Yes, United States v. Texas Is Really An Epic Political Battle,” attorney and former The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) president, David Leopold, provides some important analysis from key legal figures highlighting the inherently political nature of this case.
Over the next few days, we will post some of the analysis, which are excerpted in his post. As you’ll see, there has been a steady drumbeat from legal observers and commentators about the politics of the immigration case. This is important to address because political questions, like the one involved here, shouldn’t be litigated in federal courts, but in the legislative bodies. Chief Justice Roberts has been a stickler on this aspect of the law – and the Texas case will provide a window into whether he stands by that.
It’s no surprise that the GOP Governors and AGs filed their lawsuit in the court of Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas, “whose earlier vitriolic condemnations of President Obama’s immigration enforcement policies made him an inviting decision-maker. They also knew that the inevitable appeal would have to be filed with the Fifth Circuit, the nation’s most politically conservative federal appeals court.” America’s Voice did a report on Hanen titled, “A Coordinated Attack: Judge Hanen and the Nativist Lawsuit Against DAPA and DACA.”
Today’s excerpt from Leopold’s Medium post is from a New York Times editorial, which called out the lawsuit and predicted Hanen’s ruling (and this was before we knew Hanen was birther queen Orly Taitz’s judge of choice):
The New York Times Editorial on Jan. 20, 2015 also had taken note of Judge Hanen:
The first thing to know about the lawsuit brought by two dozen states to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is that it is a meritless screed wrapped in flimsy legal cloth and deposited on the doorstep of a federal district judge in Brownsville, Tex.
The second thing to know is that the judge, Andrew Hanen, may well look kindly on the suit. He made news in 2013 with a politically charged ruling accusing the Obama administration of criminally conspiring with Mexican drug cartels to smuggle children over the border (he really said that), which is surely why the plaintiffs like their chances.
Hanen, of course, did look kindly on the suit, just as the authors of the “meritless screed” intended. The case is now at the doorstep of the Supreme Court and poses a challenge for the Chief Justice. We’ll see if his rhetoric about standing and the politicization of the Courts is real, cause it’s hard to see anything but politics behind this case.