Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Western District Court of Pennsylvania Decision on the President’s Executive Action


[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Tuesday on a district court decision on President Obama’s executive action to address the nation’s broken immigration system.  As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Leahy steered the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act through the Senate last year.]  

“In a very unusual step, a federal judge considering a criminal sentencing issue reached out, unprompted, to weigh in on the constitutionality of the President’s executive action on civil immigration matters.  No party in the case raised such a challenge nor were there briefings or arguments on that issue.  I strongly disagree with the court’s reasoning but the process is also suspect.  It is difficult to see this opinion as anything more than politically motivated judicial activism, given that the constitutionality of the President's actions was not being challenged in this case.  It is important to make clear that the President’s policy, which I strongly support, still stands.  This is just the first of many court opinions that will be issued related to the President’s executive action on immigration.  I understand that members of the House of Representatives recently joined an amicus brief in another case.  I wish they would put that energy into passing the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill the Senate sent them more than a year and a half ago.”

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