HomeCase CommentaryFederal Court Rules Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration is Unconstitutional

Federal Court Rules Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration is Unconstitutional

A District Court judge in Pennsylvania held that President Obama’s recent Executive Action on Immigration exceeds his executive authority and usurps the authority of Congress.

The court cited President Obama’s previous speeches in which he stated that such Executive Action would violate the  separation of powers and the rule of law. On March 28, 2011, for example, Obama declared that “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law.” The President went on to state that “there are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” The judge admitted that President Obama’s own statements are not “dispositive of the constitutionality of his Executive Action,” but they nonetheless “cause this Court pause.”

This opinion is going to generate plenty of headlines. No doubt, it will not be the last legal word on the issue. The full opinion can be found here.



John Yoo makes the case here that the court’s decision amounts to judicial activism Yoo argues that the Executive Order did not even apply to this case since the issue was simply the enforcement of the law. The Obama Administration was not attempting to allow an alien to remain in the country illegally.