Judge On Arpaio’s Obama Lawsuit Questions Whether She Should Be Involved In Legislative-Executive Branch Squabble

Washington Times — Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s challenge to President Obama’s new amnesty ran into trouble Monday as a federal judge took a dim view of his challenge, questioning whether she should get involved in a “legislative-executive branch squabble.”

Judge Beryl A. Howell also questioned a ruling issued by another federal judge in Pennsylvania last week that ruled Mr. Obama’s new policy unconstitutional, with Judge Howell repeatedly calling that a “puzzling” decision that went beyond the case at hand.

But Judge Howell said the president’s program appears to be “an amnesty from being deported,” pushing back against the administration’s claim that its new policy to halt deportations and give work permits to up to 5 million illegal immigrants is a use of discretion, rather than an amnesty.

The judge heard oral arguments Monday morning but did not issue a ruling, instead promising a written opinion “very shortly.”

Sheriff Arpaio, who did not attend the oral argument in federal district court in Washington, D.C., said his Maricopa County, Ariz., jurisdiction will be hurt by Mr. Obama’s policy because it will mean more illegal immigrants he will end up arresting for state crimes, thus imposing a burden on him. He said that gives him standing to sue to stop the policy.

Judge Howell, however, poked at that argument with Sheriff Arpaio’s lawyer, Larry Klayman, telling him that it is based on speculation about what illegal immigrants will do, rather than on the president’s policy itself. She also seemed skeptical of Sheriff Arpaio’s claim that he personally will suffer because of the Obama policy changes.

The sheriff must show harm for him to be able to challenge the policy — otherwise the courts are supposed to throw the case out for lack of “standing” to sue.

“You’ve got a big standing problem,” Judge Howell told Mr. Klayman.

The judge also said what Mr. Obama has done is at least in the same ballpark as previous presidents and that it hasn’t appeared to violate the separation of powers.

“Congress has in fact sanctioned deferred removal,” she said.

Mr. Klayman urged her to act anyway.

“It doesn’t matter what Bush did in the past, or Clinton. It’s not right, it’s not legal,” he told her.

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