Federal Judge Voids Obama Deportation Delay; DOJ Calls Ruling “Unfounded”


A federal judge in Pittsburgh ruled that President Obama overstepped his authority and violated the Constitution when he issued an executive order last month to delay deportation for millions of people living in the U.S. illegally, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In a local case of a Honduran man who illegally re-entered the country, U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab said the president cannot use his executive powers to bypass Congress. The judge, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, said the president's order amounts to “unilateral legislative action” and is unconstitutional.

“Congress' lawmaking power is not subject to presidential supervision or control,” the judge wrote in a 38-page opinion that quickly made its way to national news websites. He said inaction by Congress on immigration does not endow the president with legislative powers to enact law, even temporarily. “Presidential action may not serve as a stop-gap or a bargaining chip to be used against the legislative branch,” he wrote. The Justice Department said the ruling “is unfounded and the court had no basis to issue such an order.” The case involves Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, 42, a Honduran native who was arrested in April on a charge of drunk driving. He was later indicted for illegally returning to the U.S. after he'd been deported from New Mexico in 2005 after being caught there by the Border Patrol.

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