Losing Lawyer in Amnesty Case Blames Senate, Calls for ‘Righteous Anger’

Garland Senate (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

The lawyer who argued and lost U.S. v. Texas, the case for President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty at the U.S. Supreme Court called for “righteous anger” to be aimed at the U.S. Senate for refusing to confirm Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination.

Thomas A. Saenz, the president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), represented three illegal aliens in the case. He told reporters after the decision was handed down on Thursday that the Senate was to blame for the outcome at the Court.

The Court deadlocked, 4-4, on Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), the “executive amnesty” Obama carried out in late 2014, despite saying at least 22 times previously that such a policy would be unconstitutional, and despite his party having lost the November elections. Because the Court could not come to a decision, the decisions of lower federal courts striking down the policy will stand.

With Garland on the court, the policy would likely have been upheld 5-4. However, since Garland was only nominated on March 16 and the Court heard arguments in the case on April 18, the Senate would have had to confirm Garland almost immediately for him to have played a role in the case. Garland only submitted his judicial questionnaire on May 10, long after the case had been argued.

Saenz told Breitbart News that the case was important enough to have required Garland’s confirmation to be rushed.

While DAPA is now defunct pending further appeals, Obama’s earlier amnesty — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), also called the “Dream Act by fiat” — still stands. Obama announced that policy in 2012, under pressure from Latino activists in the middle of his re-election campaign, and while legislation proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to address the problem of “Dreamers” was still pending. Obama had broken campaign pledges to address immigration early in his first term.

The Court’s ruling “has very real and very damaging consequences,” Saenz warned, and noted that the decision only affected a preliminary injunction by the lower courts. MALDEF would continue to defend the president’s authority to “engage in prosecutorial discretion” to uphold the “dignity” of undocumented immigrants, he said.

MALDEF is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable organization and cannot engage in political activity by law.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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