A Pennsylvania district court’s ruling that President Obama’s actions are “unconstitutional” is a positive development and likely the first of many court rebukes, according to Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA).
“Though this is the first of presumably many court rulings on the President’s unilateral executive amnesty, it is encouraging to see a federal court agree with what I have been saying all along,” the Pennsylvania lawmaker said in a statement reacting to the decision.
Tuesday, Pennsylvania U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab issued an opinion — dealing with a criminal case — declaring that portions of Obama’s executive amnesty go “beyond prosecutorial discretion” to actually legislating.
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Schwab wrote in his opinion.
The Justice Department quickly pushed back against the opinion, saying that Schwab did not have a basis to rule on Obama’s executive actions on immigration and that the analysis “is flatly wrong”
“The decision is unfounded and the court had no basis to issue such an order,” a Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement to media outlets. “No party in the case challenged the constitutionality of the immigration-related executive actions and the department’s filing made it clear that the executive actions did not apply to the criminal matter before the court.”
According to Barletta, however, the administration’s argument against the court decision is incorrect and ironic. He said:
It is clear that the president has overstepped his authority by creating new laws and granting sweeping amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, the administration is already defending its unlawful actions by telling federal courts that they don’t have the authority to block the amnesty plan because of the constitutional separation of powers. The irony could not be richer.
Schwab is the first judge to rule on the constitutionality of Obama’s executive amnesty. There are other cases against the actions currently pending, including a challenge to the actions by 24 states.
I still support a federal lawsuit against the administration for their own violation of the separation of powers. I also will be working closely with House leadership on defunding the president’s executive amnesty program once the new Congress, with the new Senate majority, is sworn in.