What happens when you have an administration that refuses to listen to the rule of law, and a judge who refuses to allow that administration to get away with it?
You get something as glorious as this …
A federal judge in Texas not only blasted President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers for misleading the courts on his executive amnesty orders in 2014, but he also leveled sanctions against them.
The DOJ lawyers lied about the White House approving approximately 100,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) applications after the court had an injunction in place.
Judge Andrew Hanen skewered the DOJ lawyers saying they “clearly violated their ethical duties,” ensured they “would not be practicing (law) in Texas again any time soon,” and said their conduct was so ethically egregious that he could have considered striking their arguments altogether.
Via LawNewz (emphasis mine):
In the order, Hanen found DOJ attorneys misled the Court and opposing counsel on multiple occasions over a three month period as to when the Obama Administration would implement its new immigration directive. The DOJ lawyers said changes would not be implemented until February 18, 2015 when, in fact, the changes had already been implemented and “DHS had already granted or renewed over 100,000 modified DACA applications.” Judge Hanen found that the DOJ lawyers knew all of this, yet “chose not to tell the Plaintiff States or the Court.” (emphasis original). “The Government’s lawyers in this case clearly violated their ethical duties,” Judge Hanen wrote.
In deciding which sanctions to impose, Judge Hanen wrote the conduct of the DOJ lawyers was so egregious that he could strike their pleadings, but he chose not to do so.
Judge Hanen found the appropriate remedy was for the DOJ to provide the Court with a list by June 10, 2016 of all of the approximately 108,000 individuals in the Plaintiff States who prematurely received benefits under the new immigration edict. Judge Hanen will then keep a copy of the list, under seal, until the Supreme Court issues an opinion on the matters in the underlying lawsuit.
He also ensured that the out-of-state attorneys involved in this incident would not be practicing in Texas again any time soon.
National Review’s Hans Von Spakovsky called Hanen’s order “one of the most devastating critiques I have ever read of the misbehavior of lawyers at the U.S. Justice Department.”
Hanen previously ripped the DOJ for trying to cover up the administration’s efforts to circumvent law with Obama’s executive amnesty orders.
He called the administration’s response to his initial injunction “unacceptable” and “unprofessional,” and said he was taken aback by the “cavalier attitude the Government has taken” towards it.
He added that the administration should not assume that his court will simply roll over for the administration’s “unlawful conduct.”
With these latest sanctions and verbal reprimands, it’s clear proof that Hanen remains resolved to not rolling over to the President and his administration.
Cross-posted at The Political Insider