Under Pressure From Federal Court, DHS Might Extend Key DACA Deadline!

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/14/feds-consider-delaying-daca-deadline-242742?cid=apn

 

Josh Gerstein reports in Politico:

“The Department of Homeland Security is “actively considering” delaying a looming deadline for so called-Dreamers to renew their status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a Justice Department attorney said at a court hearing Thursday, according to attendees and a government official.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brett Shumate cited the hurricanes that recently hit Texas, Florida and nearby states as grounds for the potential delay to the Oct. 5 deadline, while noting that no final decision had been made, an official said.

 

Word of the possible delay came as a federal judge signaled that he might postpone the cut-off date unless the Trump administration acted first, attendees at a Thursday court hearing said.

During the session, in federal court in Brooklyn, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis repeatedly labeled the deadline “arbitrary” and said he saw little harm in pushing it back, according to advocates.

“He focused quite a bit on the October 5 deadline and called it arbitrary,” said David Chen, a Yale law student helping litigate the issue, “and said essentially that so many people who are DACA recipients would face quite a lot of harm and experience quite a lot of chaos if they were unable to renew by the deadline.”

The Trump administration announced last week that it was winding down the Obama-era program known DACA, a mechanism used to give quasi-legal status and work permits to about 800,000 undocumented foreigners who arrived in the U.S. as children.

Homeland security officials announced that people whose work permits are set to expire between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5 of next year must submit a renewal application by Oct. 5 to receive another two-year permit. After March 5, no more DACA permits will be granted, leading to a two-year phase-out of the program, officials said.”

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Read the complete article at the link.

Judges hate it when they can’t talk the USG into “voluntarily” doing the right thing!

PWS

09-14-17

BLOCKED: Federal Judge Rebuffs Trump On Sanctuary Cities –Trump/Sessions Undermine Own Position — Trump Remains Defiantly Clueless!

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/25/sanctuary-cities-trump-judge-blocks-237597

Josh Gerstein reports in Politico:

“A federal judge has blocked a directive from President Donald Trump seeking to deny federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” and other localities that decline to cooperate in enforcement of federal immigration laws.

San Francisco-based U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday barring federal officials nationwide from carrying out the portion of a Jan. 25 Trump executive order aimed at cutting off grants to local governments that won’t provide assistance to federal authorities in locating and detaining undocumented immigrants.

Orrick cited public comments from Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in concluding that the order appeared intended to sweep more broadly than allowed by federal law. The judge, an Obama appointee, called “not legally plausible” the Justice Department’s arguments that Trump was simply trying to secure compliance with current law.

“If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote. “The Constitution vests the spending power in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds.”

The White House late Tuesday condemned the ruling in harsh terms.

“Today, the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our Nation,” the press secretary’s office said in a statement, adding:

“Once again, a single district judge — this time in San Francisco — has ignored Federal immigration law to set a new immigration policy for the entire country. This decision occurred in the same sanctuary city that released the 5-time deported illegal immigrant who gunned down innocent Kate Steinle in her father’s arms. ”

The ruling is another high-profile blow to Trump’s efforts to use executive orders to carry out major policy moves— a drive his staff is highlighting as he approaches the 100-days-in-office mark. Courts have also blocked key portions of two of the president’s other immigration-related executive orders — his travel bans on citizens of several majority Muslim countries.

However, Orrick noted that his new injunction may not block much of what the Trump administration claimed in court it was trying to do through the portion of the Jan. 25 order targeting sanctuary cities. If all Trump wanted to do was cut off Justice Department grants to localities that are out of compliance with the law, he can still do that, the judge observed.

“This injunction does nothing more than implement the effect of the Government’s flawed interpretation of the Order,” Orrick wrote.

Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior did not say whether an appeal is planned, but he emphasized that the judge did not block the federal government from enforcing federal law as it now stands.

. . . .

The judge concluded that the California localities were correct to be concerned that their funding was in jeopardy and that the grants affected might be more than just the few the Justice Department said were covered by Trump’s order.

“Although Government counsel has represented that the Order will be implemented consistent with law, this assurance is undermined by Section 9(a)’s clearly unconstitutional directives. Further, through public statements, the President and Attorney General have appeared to endorse the broadest reading of the Order,” Orrick added.

“Is the Order merely a rhetorical device, as counsel suggested at the hearing, or a ‘weapon’ to defund the Counties and those who have implemented a different law enforcement strategy than the Government currently believes is desirable? The result of this schizophrenic approach to the Order is that the Counties’ worst fears are not allayed and the Counties reasonably fear enforcement under the Order,” the judge wrote.”

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The complete report, along with a link to Judge Orrick’s full opinion can be found at the above link. The case is County of Santa Clara v. Trump.

PWS

04-26-17

POLITICO LITIGATION: DOJ In “Stall Mode” In Hawaii Travel Ban Case — “Dire Emergency” Threatening The Republic Subsides As Curiously As It Arose, Leaving Experts To Ponder The Meaning Of The Administration’s Changed Strategy!

http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/03/donald-trump-travel-ban-ninth-circuit-appeal-236575

Josh Gerstein writes in Politico:

“When President Donald Trump’s first travel ban executive order was effectively shut down by a federal judge, the Trump administration seemed to be in a huge rush to get the policy back on track.

This time? Not so much.

It took less than a day for Justice Department lawyers to file an appeal last month after U.S. District Court Judge James Robart blocked the key parts of Trump’s directive.

A few hours later — just after midnight Eastern Time — the federal government filed an emergency motion asking the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit to allow the president to move forward with his plan to halt travel to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries and to suspend refugee admissions from across the globe.

A three-judge 9th Circuit panel unanimously turned down Trump’s request, prompting the president to redraft the executive order, dropping Iraq from the roster of affected countries and exempting existing visa-holders from the directive.

But when a federal judge in Hawaii issued a broad block on the new order March 15, just hours before it was set to kick in, there was no immediate appeal. In fact, nearly two weeks later, the Justice Department is still tangling with Honolulu U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson and has yet to take the issue back to the 9th Circuit.

The delay has puzzled many lawyers tracking the litigation, particularly given Trump’s public warning that “many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country” as a result of the courts’ interference with his first travel ban directive. A total of two months have now passed since Trump signed his first order.

“A lot of people have talked about that,” said University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias. “It seems hard to wait on this without undercutting the argument” that the travel ban order is needed to address an urgent national security threat, he added.

Some attorneys believe the Justice Department is intentionally dragging its feet in the Hawaii case because the 9th Circuit rotates the three-judge panels assigned to motions every month, with the next swap-out due Saturday. The 9th Circuit also announces the panels publicly, although not in advance. This month’s consists of two Obama-appointed judges — Morgan Christen and John Owens — along with George W. Bush appointee Milan Smith.”

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Interesting that Gerstein reports later in his article that the 4th Circuit might “bypass” the panel stage and just send the “Maryland case” directly to the en banc court. I hadn’t picked up on that. Sounds unusual.

As I have speculated before, no matter what happens in the 4th Circuit, if this issue does get to the Supremes, it’s unlikely to be decided until some time in 2018. So, barring something pretty unusual, the Travel Ban will be “banned” for the foreseeable future.

I suspect that by then, the Administration will have discovered that it doesn’t need an Executive Order and all this hoopla to quietly and gradually “beef up” visa and refugee vetting in individual cases or groups of cases where it is warranted. They have already started that process, as I previously reported. I think the scope, method, publicity, and “in your face” tone of the two EOs are what got them into difficulty with the courts.

PWS

03/29/17

 

TRAVEL BAN UPDATE: “SOPS” Continue To Flow From 9th Cir. Judges in Washington v. Trump — WSJ & WASHPOST Hang “Stupid But Constitutional” Tag On Trump — CNN’s Danny Cevallos Agrees With Rappaport That Trump Has Good Chance Of Ultimate Legal Win!

What’s a “SOP?”  That was BIA lingo for “separate opinion,” a fairly frequent occurrence on the “Schmidt Board.”

There are now five separate opinions commenting on the refusal of the en banc 9th Circuit to vacate the panel’s decision in State of Washington v. Trump following the Government’s decision to withdraw it’s appeal form the TRO on “Travel Ban 1.0:”

“This order is being filed along with a concurrence from Judge Reinhardt, a concurrence from Judge Berzon, a dissent from Judge Kozinski, a dissent from Judge Bybee, and a dissent from Judge Bea. No further opinions will be filed.

Josh Gerstein explains in Politico:

“President Donald Trump’s travel ban has triggered an unusually caustic public spat among the judges of the federal appeals court that first took up the issue.

The disagreement began to play out publicly Wednesday when five 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges publicly recorded their disagreement with a decision three of their colleagues issued last month refusing to allow Trump to reinstate the first version of his travel ban executive order.
The fight escalated dramatically on Friday with the five Republican-appointed judges filing another withering attack on the earlier opinion and two liberal judges accusing their conservative colleagues of trying to make an end-run around the traditional judicial process.

In the new opinion, Judge Alex Kozinski blasted the earlier ruling for essentially ignoring the fact that most of those affected by Trump’s initial travel ban have no constitutional rights.

“This St. Bernard is being wagged by a flea on its tail,” Kozinski wrote, joined by Judges Carlos Bea, Jay Bybee, Sandra Ikuta and Consuelo Callahan.

Kozinski’s opinion harshly criticized the earlier 9th Circuit decision for blessing the idea that courts could take account of Trump’s campaign-trail statements vowing to implement a Muslim ban.

“My colleagues err by failing to vacate this hasty opinion. The panel’s unnecessary statements on this subject will shape litigation near and far. We’ll quest aimlessly for true intentions across a sea of insults and hyperbole. It will be (as it were) a huge, total disaster,” Kozinski said, in an an apparent tip of the hat to Trump’s bombast.

That didn’t sit well with Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who accused his colleagues of trying to affect the ongoing litigation over Trump’s redrafted executive order.

“Judge Kozinski’s diatribe, filed today, confirms that a small group of judges, having failed in their effort to undo this court’s decision with respect to President Trump’s first Executive Order, now seek on their own, under the guise of a dissent from the denial of en banc rehearing of an order of voluntary dismissal, to decide the constitutionality of a second Executive Order that is not before this court,” wrote Reinhardt, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter. “That is hardly the way the judiciary functions. Peculiar indeed!”

Another liberal 9th Circuit judge, Marsha Berzon, weighed in Friday with a more restrained rejection of her colleagues’ efforts to undermine the earlier ruling.

“Judges are empowered to decide issues properly before them, not to express their personal views on legal questions no one has asked them. There is no appeal currently before us, and so no stay motion pending that appeal currently before us either,” wrote Berzon, an appointee of President Bill Clinton. “All the merits commentary in the dissents filed by a small minority of the judges of this court is entirely out of place.”
“My dissenting colleagues should not be engaging in a one-sided attack on a decision by a duly constituted panel of this court,” Berzon added. “We will have this discussion, or one like it. But not now.”

Kozinski responded by accusing his liberal colleagues of trying to silence the court’s public debate on the issue.”

“My colleagues’ effort to muzzle criticism of an egregiously wrong panel opinion betrays their insecurity about the opinion’s legal analysis,” wrote Kozinski, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan.”

Here’s the link to Gerstein’s article:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/9th-circuit-judges-feud-trump-travel-ban-236211

And, here is the link to the court’s order containing all of the opinions, so you can judge for yourself:

http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2017/03/17/17-35105_Amd_Order.pdf

Meanwhile, the WSJ Editorial Board channeled a little of the late Justice Antonin Scalia:

“The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once wished aloud that all federal judges be issued a stamp that said “Stupid but Constitutional.” Such a stamp would have been useful this week to the two federal judges who bounced President Trump’s revised travel ban that suspends immigration from six Muslim-majority countries that the Administration says pose particular terror risks.

Our view is that the ban is lousy policy, and any urgency that Mr. Trump’s first-week executive order once had is gone. But after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the original version, the White House went back to the drafting board and tailored the new order to address the court’s objections. The President has vast discretion over immigration, and the do-over is grounded both in statute and core presidential powers, which is when the Supreme Court’s Youngstown decision teaches that a President’s authority to act is strongest.”

Read the complete editorial here:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-trump-legal-exception-1489706694

On today’s editorial page, the Washington Post made much the same point, if only a little less emphatically with respect to the Administration’s legal position:

“THE SPEED and enthusiasm with which two federal courts halted President Trump’s latest travel executive order might suggest that the revised policy is as obviously problematic as the last, which was a sloppy rush job that the government poorly defended in court. In fact, the revised policy, while still more likely to harm than help national security, is legally far more defensible. Decades of precedent instruct judges to defer to the executive branch on immigration and national security matters such as this. It should surprise no one if the Supreme Court eventually allows the Trump administration to proceed.”

Read the complete Post editorial here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-new-travel-order-is-self-defeating-and-maybe-legal-too/2017/03/17/95171a6c-0a93-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html?utm_term=.7cf47133cd49

Finally, CNN Legal Analyst Danny Cevallos makes many of the same points that Nolan Rappaport has made in his articles in The Hill in predicting that the Administration legally has a winner if they are ever able to get this issue to the Supremes:

“The president is in charge of immigration. Immigration policy, by its very definition, is a form of discrimination. The only truly nondiscriminatory immigration policy would be: Everyone come in, whenever you want. Anything short of that is discrimination in some form, and it’s generally within the president’s province. This is not some village rezoning policy. This is national immigration policy, and it’s different than any of the other Establishment Clause cases.
If courts can look into this particular President’s prior statements when considering the constitutionality of his actions, then every single executive action is potentially vulnerable. A gender-neutral executive order could be challenged as discriminatory against women. After all, this is the candidate who believes women can just be grabbed by the …, well, you know. A presidential action that is disability-neutral could be challenged on the basis that the candidate mocked a disabled reporter.
While the court in Hawaii cited established Supreme Court precedent in finding a probable Establishment Clause violation, the appellate courts could still find that Trump’s executive authority prevails. Yes, the district court cited some controlling authority, but an appellate court could distinguish those cases from the unique case before it — one that pits constitutional executive power head-to-head with the First Amendment.”

Read the full Cevallos analysis here:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/16/opinions/trump-win-travel-ban-appeal-danny-cevallos-opinion/index.html

Then, read Nolan’s previous articles from The Hill or as reposted on this blog.

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Overall, I think it is a good thing when there is some spirited dissent and disagreement among members of a collegial court like the 9th Circuit.  It shows that the Judges are engaged and that they care about the issues, as they should. Also, dissent is often directed at other courts (like the Supreme Court), at Congress, the Executive, or at educating the media and the public at large about important legal issues. Without dissent and the resulting dialogue it often provokes, you would have “a room full of people patting each other on the back.” And, what’s the purpose of a “deliberative” collegial court that doesn’t “deliberate?”

PWS

03/18/17