United States v. Texas

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United States v. Texas
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued April 18, 2016
Full case name United States of America, et al., Petitioners v. State of Texas, et al.
Docket nos. 15-674
Prior history Issuing preliminary injunction, 86 F. Supp. 3d 591 (S.D. Texas 2015); stay denied, 787 F.3d 733 (5th Cir. 2015); preliminary injunction affirmed, 2015 WL 6873190 (5th Cir. Nov. 9, 2015).
Court membership
Laws applied
Take Care Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Administrative Procedure Act, United States immigration legislation from 1952, 1965, 1986, 1990, 1996, etc.

United States v. Texas, No. 15-674, ___ U.S. ___ (2016), is a pending United States Supreme Court case regarding the constitutionality of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program.

Background

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program was announced by President Barack Obama in November 2014 as part of his plan for immigration reform. The program attempts to grant deferred action to illegal immigrants who are the parents of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. It was subsequently challenged in federal court by 26 states.

United States District Court

On February 16, 2015, United States District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division, issued a preliminary injunction against an executive action taken by President Barack Obama that would have given Illegal immigrants legal status and protection and let them apply for work permits.[why?][1][2] The U.S. government on February 23, 2015 asked the Court to lift the injunction while it appealed his ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans;[3][4] it also proposed that that the Court could issue a partial stay that would allow every state except for Texas to start implementing DAPA.[4]

In an opinion and order published on April 7, 2015, Hanen denied the Government’s request to stay the preliminary injunction.[5][6] He affirmed the earlier ruling that the plaintiff states had standing;[7] cited statements made by President Obama regarding the applicability of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) that DHS employees would “suffer consequences” if they failed to follow the DHS Directive;[further explanation needed][8] denied the DOJ request to apply the injunction only to Texas;[9] and addressed[vague] the issue of irreparable harm both in regards to the federal government and to the states.[10]

On the same day, the Court issued a separate order criticizing the federal government for granting three-year periods of deferred action to 108,081 individuals between the announcement of DAPA and the preliminary injunction,[11][12] despite earlier statements made to the court by the Department of Justice that no action would be taken on these applications.[13] The Court reserved the right to impose sanctions against the federal government's counsel for misrepresenting facts.[14]

United States Court of Appeals

The Obama Administration appealed the order for a preliminary injunction and asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans to stay the district court's injunction pending appeal.[15] On May 26, 2015, the administration's motion for a stay was denied by a three member motions panel with one dissent, meaning that the government could not implement DAPA until the Fifth Circuit ruled on the appeal of the injunction order itself.[16][17][18] Arguments were heard on an expedited basis on July 10, 2015. The ruling came on November 9, 2015, with a three-member panel of the Fifth Circuit affirming the district court's preliminary injunction, over one dissent.[19][20]

The divided circuit court affirmed the preliminary injunction and ordered the case back to the district court for trial.[21] Judge Jerry Edwin Smith, joined by Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod agreed with the district court that Texas has standing because of the cost of issuing drivers licenses to aliens, and that President Obama’s order violated the rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.[21] The majority made a new finding that the Immigration and Nationality Act “flatly does not permit” deferred action.[22] Judge Carolyn Dineen King dissented, arguing that prosecutorial discretion makes the case non-justiciable, and that there had been “no justification” for the circuit court’s delay in ruling.[22]

Supreme Court of the United States

On November 10, 2015, the Justice Department announced it would ask the Supreme Court to reverse.[23] Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton attempted to prolong consideration of the case until the next October term but the Supreme Court only granted him an eight day extension to file his opposition brief.[24] The Justice Department further hastened the case by waiving its right to file a reply brief.[25] On January 19, 2016 the Supreme Court agreed to review the case.[26] The Court took the unusual step of asking for briefing on the new constitutional question as to whether or not DAPA violates the Take Care Clause.[27] After the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, this case (like all others pending before the court where no justice is recused) will be decided by 8 justices. In case of an equally divided court, the ruling of the Fifth Circuit will be affirmed without setting a binding precedent for other circuits.

Sanctions on Department of Justice attorneys

On May 19, 2016, while the case awaits the Supreme Court, trial court Judge Hanen demanded ethics classes for Department of Justice lawyers and ordered other sanctions for those who argued the case in his courtroom.[28] Hanen accused the lawyers of lying to him during arguments in the case, and he barred them from appearing in his courtroom.[28] He accusing the Department of Justice of a “calculated plan of unethical conduct.”[29] Hanen also ordered Attorney General Loretta Lynch to appoint someone within the department to ensure compliance with his order.[29]

References

  1. Barbash, Fred (February 17, 2015) - "Federal Judge in Texas Blocks Obama Immigration Orders". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  2. Preston, Julia & Shear, Michael (February 17, 2015) - "Dealt Setback, Obama Puts Off Immigrant Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  3. dallasnews.com: "26-state coalition, led by Texas, asks judge to not lift stay in immigration lawsuit", 4 Mar 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 cmgdigital.com: "Case 1:14-cv-00254 Document 150 - DEFENDANTS’ EMERGENCY EXPEDITED MOTION TO STAY THE COURT’S FEBRUARY 16, 2015 ORDER PENDING APPEAL AND SUPPORTING MEMORANDUM", 23 Feb 2015
  5. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 225: 15. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. von Spakovsky, Hans (April 8, 2015). "Texas Judge Delivers Blistering Rebuke of Obama Administration Immigration Lawyers' Misbehavior". The Daily Signal. Washington, DC. Retrieved May 27, 2015. In an order issued late Tuesday, federal district court Judge Andrew Hanen refused to lift the preliminary injunction he had previously issued stopping the implementation of the immigration amnesty plan announced by President Obama last November. And in a second order, an obviously infuriated Judge Hanen said that the “attorneys for the Government misrepresented the facts” to the court.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 225: 3–7. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 225: 7–11. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 225: 11–12. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 225: 13–14. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 226: 3. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 225: 2. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 226: 2. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "State of Texas, et al v. United States of America, et al" (PDF). Southern District of Texas ~ Notable Cases Information Document 226: 9. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "House Democrats Encourage Representatives To Keep Holding Events On Obama Immigration Actions", The Huffington Post, February 19, 2015<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  16. Nakamura, David. Obama administration won’t seek emergency stay from Supreme Court on immigration injunction, Washington Post, May 27, 2015.
  17. Kalhan, Anil (June 3, 2015). "Executive Action on Immigration and the Judicial Artifice of "Lawful Presence"". Dorf on Law.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Texas v. United States, 787 F.3d 733 (5th Cir. 2015).
  19. Texas v. United States, No. 15-40238 (5th Cir. Nov. 9, 2015).
  20. Shear, Michael D. (November 9, 2015). "Appeals Court Deals Blow to Obama's Immigration Plans". New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. 21.0 21.1 Lind, Dara (10 November 2015). "Obama's immigration executive actions are up to the Supreme Court". Vox. Retrieved 12 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 Ford, Matt (10 November 2015). "A Ruling Against the Obama Administration on Immigration". The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Shear, Michael D. (November 10, 2015). "Obama appeals immigration ruling to Supreme Court". New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Lyle Denniston, States get a bit more time for immigration reply, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 1, 2015, 5:22 PM).
  25. Lyle Denniston, States want wider immigration review, if Court takes case (FURTHER UPDATE), SCOTUSblog (Dec. 29, 2015, 6:37 PM).
  26. Liptak, Adam. "Justices to Hear State Challenge on Immigration". The New York Times (20 January 2016, section A1). Retrieved 20 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Palazzolo, Joe (19 January 2016). "In Immigration Case, Supreme Court Takes an Interest in 'Take Care' Clause". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. 28.0 28.1 Shear, Michael (May 19, 2016). "Federal Judge in Texas Demands Justice Dept. Lawyers Take Ethics Class". New York Times. New York. Retrieved May 20, 2016. In a blistering order, Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court in Brownsville accused the Justice Department lawyers of lying to him during arguments in the case, and he barred them from appearing in his courtroom.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. 29.0 29.1 Palazzolo, Joe; Gershman, Jacob (May 19, 2016). "Furious Federal Judge Orders Justice Department Lawyers to Undergo Ethics Training". Wall Street Journal. New York. Retrieved May 20, 2016. The problem, according to Judge Hanen, is the Justice Department assured him that the federal government wouldn’t begin implementing the program — which the judge apparently took to mean any part of it — before February 2015, giving him time to weigh the legal issues. He also said the Justice Department misled him about how many three-year extensions were granted.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links