Frank Sharry: “The question is whether Chief Justice Roberts, who has made it clear he does not want his court to settle political fights, sticks with long-standing precedent and rejects this ploy. Then, we can take our fight to the political arena, where it belongs.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear a case that should have been dismissed long ago. Republican leaders in Texas, joined by their GOP colleagues in 25 other states, launched an attack on President Obama’s immigration executive actions–known as DAPA and DACA+. First, they had to shop for a judge who would embrace their political complaints. And, they found one in Judge Andrew Hanen in the Southern District of Texas. As part of their plan, the Republican plaintiffs made sure their preferred Judge was also in the most conservative court of appeals circuit in the nation making the likelihood of sympathetic appeals panel much more likely.
Chief Justice Roberts and his seven colleagues will hear arguments from the Texas lawyers who played fast and loose with intricacies of immigration law and turned in a shamelessly misleading brief. If nothing else this proves that this case is so political the Republicans who brought it did not even bother to learn the immigration law that applies to it.
The stakes are high—the power of executive authority and the sanctity and integrity of our judicial system. Most importantly, the decision will dramatically impact the five million people who would benefit from President Obama’s executive actions. To them, this isn’t about politics, it’s about their lives and their families. Unfortunately, Republican politicians have used undocumented immigrants as political punching bags for a long time. Witness the current GOP frontrunner.
Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “As so many legal observers have noted, political clashes like this don’t belong in federal courts. But, anti-immigrant Republicans use every avenue available to thwart progress on immigration. From the day the Republicans filed in Judge Hanen’s court, no one who has been paying attention has any doubt that this GOP lawsuit is about anything but politics. The question is whether Chief Justice Roberts, who has made it clear he does not want his court to settle political fights, sticks with long-standing precedent and rejects this ploy. Then, we can take our fight to the political arena, where it belongs. We welcome and look forward to that.”
Added David Leopold, immigration attorney and past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), “The immigration case is fraught with peril and opportunity for Chief Justice Roberts. He has an opportunity to bring order out of chaos and restore integrity to the federal judiciary by rejecting this political lawsuit. The peril lies in letting the case move forward, allowing judicial chaos to ensue. What has been made clear through this process is that the Republicans who brought this lawsuit, led by Texas AG Ken Paxton, are so politically driven they’d even attempt to mislead the Supreme Court about the immigration law. And, that would comport the reality that this case was never about immigration law, but is really a political assault under the guise of a lawsuit. It’s now up to the Supreme Court to apply the law, put an end to this political game, and lift the injunction placed in the immigration executive actions by the lower courts.”
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