Bob Unruh: Obama amnesty shot down – again!

Obama amnesty shot down – again!
Posted By Bob Unruh On 10/03/2016 @ 12:37 pm In APP Frontpage,Front
http://www.wnd.com/2016/10/obama-amnesty-shot-down-again/print/

For the second time, and without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected President Obama’s tactic of granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens through administrative actions.

The high court on Monday declined to revisit the dispute, as the White House had wanted.

Fox News reported the case might still return to the Supreme Court at a later date but almost certainly not while Obama is president.

The issue has been percolating throughout Obama’s tenure in the White House. He repeatedly stated he alone didn’t have the authority to change America’s immigration laws to allow amnesty for millions of illegals and tried to pressure Congress to take action.

When the lawmakers refused to do what he wanted, he had administration officials re-interpret existing law to allow as many as 5 million illegal aliens to remain in the country.

But his plan was shot down by a federal judge in Texas, whose decision in a case brought by 26 states, led by Texas, was upheld by an appeals court. The Supreme Court earlier this year voted 4-4 on the case, leaving the lower court precedent standing.

Now the court has declined to revisit the fight.

The district judge’s ruling found the Constitution doesn’t give the president that authority.

Ann Coulter’s back, and she’s never been better than in “Adios, America!: The Left’s Plan to Turn our Country into a Third World Hellhole.”

When he was speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner listed 22 times when Obama made statements that he is not allowed to do what he did.

For example, in October 2010, Obama said: “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. … I’ve got to have some partners to do it. … If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. … I can’t just make the laws up by myself.”

But in 2014, the administration announced an immigration-law change that would “shield more than four million people from deportation,” NBC News said.

Read WND’s investigative report on Obama’s plan to “institutionalize” his immigration policies throughout 16 federal agencies that will do his bidding long after he’s gone from the White House.

Texas sued and was joined by more than two dozen other states, citing the massive new demands for public services such as school and health care that would be imposed by those who previously had been subject to deportation.

“In seeking rehearing – a [chance] to argue the same case over again – the Justice Department said the move ‘is consistent with historical practice and reflects the need for prompt and definitive resolution of this important case,’” NBC said.

The 4-4 tie was set up by the death earlier this year of Justice Antonin Scalia. A tie at the high court means the lower court ruling is left standing.

It was Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program that was derailed. It was set up to let certain categories of illegal aliens stay in America.

The Obama administration announced the program as a series of administrative orders in November 2014. It said the actions were necessary because Congress refused to make the changes in law that he wanted.

The lawsuit was filed to halt the plan, and shortly after, a federal district judge in Texas and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled in favor of the states.

But the Obama administration fought back, claiming the states don’t have standing to sue the federal government over immigration policy.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans had ruled 2-1 to uphold a lower court’s injunction blocking the White House from going forward with its deferred-action plan and to make the injunction permanent.

“The president must follow the rule of law, just like everybody else,” argued Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was leading up the coalition of 26 states suing the Obama administration.

He went on, the Washington Post reported: “Throughout this process, the Obama administration has aggressively disregarded the constitutional limits on executive power.”

While the case was pending at the lower courts, 113 members of Congress said in a court brief Obama’s amnesty program violates the Constitution.

“Our position is clear – President Obama’s executive action is unconstitutional and impermissibly disrupts the separation of powers,” said Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed on behalf of Congress.

WND broke the story when a federal judge in Texas granted a temporary injunction halting Obama’s executive-order driven amnesty program.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered the government not to proceed with any portion of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.

“The United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees and Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of United States customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of United States Border Patrol, United States Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, acting director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are hereby enjoined from implementing any and all aspects or phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents,” the ruling said.

The dispute elevated to the astonishing when, in his Texas courtroom, the judge bluntly asked a Justice Department attorney whether or not President Obama and federal officials can be believed regarding the administration’s executive action on immigration.

“I can trust what Secretary [Jeh] Johnson says … what President Obama says?” Hanen asked, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Fox News reported the judge even went further, instructing Justice Department attorney Kathleen Hartnett, “That’s a yes or no question.”

She responded, “Yes, your honor.”

Hanen called for the hearing because of questions about whether the Justice Department misled the judge by claiming that deportation reprieves would not go forward before he made a ruling. It turned out that federal officials had delayed deportation for 108,000 people for three years and granted them work permits.

The administration had argued the reprieves were granted under a 2012 program that was not impacted by Hanen’s order. But the 2012 program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, granted only two-year reprieves, while Obama’s November 2014 order allows three-year deferrals.

Hartnett told the judge “government attorneys hadn’t properly explained this because they had been focused on other parts of the proposed action,” Fox reported.

Hanen remained skeptical, and it was then he asked, “Can I trust what the president says?”

He later told the lawyers representing the government to go to ethics classes.
Copyright 2016 WND

BOB UNRUH For WND.com: NOW FEDS TRYING TO DENY 2 MORE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS


(The United States Supreme Court)
NOW FEDS TRYING TO DENY 2 MORE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
Fight on to stop government grab of money needed for legal defense
Published: 2 hours ago
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It’s no secret that President Obama and his Democratic Party want to restrict the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

In addition, First Amendment religious-freedoms protections have been challenged by Obamacare.

And freedom of speech? That’s just fine as long as it lines up with the “same-sex marriage” social agenda.

Now, a case is posing a challenge to the Fifth Amendment’s property rights and due process protections along with the Sixth Amendment’s assurance of counsel for those accused of crimes.

The U.S. Supreme Court now is posed with the question: Does the government have the right to charge you with a crime and then seize your bank accounts, checkbook, savings and other assets so that you cannot afford to hire a lawyer to defend yourself?

The Rutherford Institute has filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the nation’s Founders – who wrote the Fifth and Sixth Amendments – would be horrified by the idea.

“It is Dangerous to be Right when the Government is Wrong,” explains the new American case for personal freedom, by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

“If the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.

“Protecting their property from governmental abuse was just as vital to the Founding Fathers as preserving their lives and liberties, hence the Fifth Amendment.”

Whitehead said that what makes the current case so critical is “that if the government is allowed to freeze a person’s untainted – i.e., legitimate – assets, the government can essentially render them penniless and unable to hire an attorney of their choosing in order to preserve their life and liberty, which renders the Sixth Amendment utterly useless.”

The government routinely confiscates the proceeds of proven illegal activity, such as drug money.

But the new case challenges the government’s decision to take away funds that were not alleged to be part of any criminal activity. Not as a fine; just confiscation.

A second friend-of-the-court brief, filed by Michael Connelly of the United States Justice Foundation and William J. Olson, Herbert W. Titus and others of William J. Olson, P.C., frames the dispute.

“In violation of the Fifth Amendment, the district court improperly seized assets of the petitioner over which the government has no valid, current property interest, denying her the right to retain counsel of choice to fight for her rights in violation of the Sixth Amendment.”

The filing continues: “As Congress and the courts have cooperated in the vast expansion of federal asset forfeiture powers, federal prosecutors have been given tools that no one in government should have – powers which put the American people in fear not of punishment for crime, but in fear of the exercise of arbitrary power by their own government.”

The case arose during a suspected Medicare fraud case in which the government froze $45 million in assets belonging to Sila Luis, who runs health-care businesses in Florida.

She was indicted three years ago for alleged schemes to pay illegal kickbacks for patient referrals and to bill Medicare for unnecessary services.

The government claimed the businesses received about $45 million in Medicare reimbursements and sought to recover the full amount in the criminal prosecution.

But Rutherford said the businesses also earned at least $15 million in untainted funds from sources other than Medicare – and the government moved to take those funds as well.

Attorneys for Luis objected, saying the government’s decision to deprive her of her own funds too violated the Sixth Amendment. Her right to due process, they contend, would be violated by such a move.

The case is pending before the Supreme Court.

The Rutherford Institute argued in its brief that the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment provides the accused the right “to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

“When Congress ratified the Sixth Amendment, they understood the constitutional right to counsel as the right to counsel a defendant could afford to retain. This was evidence because the right to appointed counsel had not yet been recognized as fundamental in all criminal cases,” the brief explains.

The brief says the “forfeiture at issue here is fundamentally inconsistent with the Founding Fathers’ understanding that criminal defendants had a right to choose any counsel they could afford.”

“By depriving petitioner of legitimate and untainted funds, the forfeiture prevents her from securing chosen counsel by making it impossible for her to pay that counsel.”

The Sixth Amendment “has always encompassed the core right of securing one’s counsel of choice at one’s own expense,” the brief says.

“If fact, it was the only understanding at the time it was ratified. The idea that the government could trample on this fundamental right with a tool that was despised by the Founders is inconceivable,” Rutherford said.

One year ago, the Supreme Court affirmed that defendants do not have a right to a hearing where they can plead for permission to use the money that the government alleges is tainted. In the case, the government said it was targeting the unconnected funds because the defendant “already has spent the ill-gotten gains on luxury items and travel.”

Rutherford argued that if the case is not reversed, the Sixth Amendment requirement for due process, specifically the right to counsel, will be blown apart.

“The government asks this court to endorse an abusive practice the Founders explicitly rejected and which contradicts their understanding of the limited seizures the government could undertake prior to a finding of guilt,” the brief contends. “In so doing, the forfeiture improperly undermines petitioners’ Sixth Amendment right to counsel of her choosing.”

The filing by USJF and Olson contends the government’s claims are based “exclusively on hearsay and a finding of mere ‘probable cause.’”

“Demonstrating no reluctance to assert highly aggressive statutory interpretations, as well as positions that impair petitioner’s rights protected by the U.S. Constitution at each turn, the government seeks every possible advantage over petitioner,” the brief states.

“The government claims that its only objective is to protect the government’s financial interests, but those interests are at best speculative future interests. The only certain effect of the government’s strategy is to facilitate the prosecutor’s quest for conviction through the crippling of petitioner in her ability to defend herself from federal criminal charges.”

Such a strategy, the brief explains, “should send shivers down the backs of the justices on this court, who are tasked with guarding the rights of the people against this government’s headline pursuit of powers typifying those of a totalitarian police state.”

The inequities are obvious, the brief says.

“Under the government’s theory, the prosecution would continue to be free to employ all the assets it needs to build a case against petitioner, while petitioner would be denied full use of her untainted assets for her defense. … If the prosecution, with the assistance of the court, is allowed to exercise the type of broad authority to tie up a criminal defendant’s untainted assets, [the law] will present an open invitation to an ever more powerful federal government to deprive defendants in criminal cases of counsel of their choice, in violation of the Sixth Amendment.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/08/now-feds-targeting-2-more-constitutional-rights/#yM2ZE78hkWvQBJxA.99