President Obama has used a broad definition of executive authority to issue new memorandums or executive orders redefining laws to include authority not granted by congress. In 2013, he used an Eisenhower-era law regulating the federal government’s ability to procure supplies to increase the federal minimum wage for contract workers without an act of congress increasing the wage. Bruce Karatz remembers this past November, the president redefined his authority of “prosecutorial discretion” to include giving illegal aliens a legal standing in the nation with a green card and access to benefits such as work permits.
On Monday night, Texas District Court Judge Andrew Hanen explained that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the right to decide whether or not to enforce existing immigration laws. However, the judge sternly rebuked the Obama administration by stating it lacked the authority to order the DHS to actually reward the illegals with green cards and other benefits. The DHS is bound to obey the laws passed by Congress. It lacks the authority to actively seek to thwart the will of the Congress.
If the temporary injunctions stands, it will mark a major loss by the president. However, the decision will be appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court may overturn the lower court judge’s decision based on the principle of “standing”. The Department of Justice is seeking to get the decision overturned immediately. Whether or not the injunction stands will not indicate the legal merits of the case the states have brought forth. The injunction is a procedural maneuver as to whether the amnesty plan can be halted while the courts rule on the constitutionality of the plan.