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A Significant Victory for the Constitution as a Federal Court Halts President Obama’s illegal Executive Action


Jay Sekulow

February 17, 2015

3 min read




Just before midnight last night, a federal court issued an order temporarily halting President Obama’s illegal Executive action on immigration.

The federal court agreed with our amicus brief – on behalf of 68 Members of Congress and over 70,000 Americans – that President Obama’s actions violated the constitution by creating new law.  The trial court correctly noted that the Obama Administration “is not just rewriting the laws, he is creating them from scratch.”

This decision represents a significant victory against the unconstitutional overreach by President Obama.

We are extremely pleased the court concluded what we have argued from the start: the President overstepped his authority by changing the law and setting new immigration policy. The manner in which the President acted is unconstitutional, unlawful, and a violation of the separation of powers.

As I testified before the Congress in December: Impatient presidents don’t get to change the law.

The federal trial court granted a preliminary injunction to 26 states challenging President Obama’s executive action, which temporarily blocks implementation of the President’s actions.  In a memorandum opinion accompanying the order, the federal court ruled that the lawsuit should go forward and that without a preliminary injunction the states will “suffer irreparable harm in this case.”

“The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle,” the trial court held, adding that unilaterally legalizing the presence of millions of people is a “virtually irreversible” action.

The court’s ruling accused Obama Administration officials of being “disingenuous” when they said that President Obama’s initiatives did not significantly alter existing policies. In the words of the federal court, the programs were “a massive change in immigration practice” that would affect “the nation’s entire immigration scheme and the states who must bear the lion’s share of its consequences.” Further, the court stated that the Executive actions had violated laws that the federal government must follow in issuing new rules.  The court also determined that “the states have clearly proven a likelihood of success on the merits.”

In our amicus brief representing 68 Members of Congress, including three Senators, and tens of thousands of concerned Americans, we argued this exact position to the court, stating, “Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits because the DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security) directive violates the Constitution, disrupts the separation of powers, and amounts to an abdication of their constitutional and statutory duty.”

President Obama has vowed to appeal the trial court’s ruling.  If he does, we will continue to support these 26 states and defend the Constitution from the abuse of an imperial presidency.

Add your name to our brief below as we continue to take direct action in court to stop President Obama’s illegal Executive action.

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