A federal district court judge in Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday that portions of President Obama’s executive amnesty are unconstitutional, according to the Washington Post.
Western Pennsylvania District Judge Arthur Schwab concluded in his opinion that Obama’s executive actions go “beyond prosecutorial discretion” and into the realm of legislating.
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for int he United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Schwab wrote in his opinion.
Schwab’s ruling, the Washington Post notes, is the first judicial opinion rendered about President Obama’s executive amnesty.
The Pennsylvania opinion came as a result of a case involving an illegal immigrant — Elionardo Juarez-Escobar — arrested for drunk driving and who was found to have already been deported in 2005 but illegally re-entered the country. The court sought to consider whether the November executive orders would apply to Escobar.
In the course of that consideration, Schwab determined some of the actions to be unconstitutional.
“The opinion of the Pennsylvania federal district court regarding the President’s Executive Action on Immigration came from an unexpected place, in an unexpected context; but the court was correct in stating that the Executive Action is an unconstitutional violation of Separation of Powers,” John S. Baker, Jr. Louisiana State University Law School professor said in a statement reacting to the decision.
Three other legal challenges to Obama’s executive actions are still awaiting outcomes, including a suit filed by 24 states challenging the executive actions.