TOPEKA − (February 17, 2015) − A federal judge yesterday granted a request by Kansas and 26 other states to block President Obama’s “executive action” related to immigration while the states challenge his legal authority to act unilaterally, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
District Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued a temporary injunction blocking the federal government from implementing the President's directives while the lawsuit proceeds. He found it likely Kansas and the other states would succeed on their claim that President Obama's “executive action” violated the federal Administrative Procedures Act, which sets forth various procedures and safeguards that federal agencies must follow in adopting regulations that implement federal statutes.
“This federal court order temporarily blocks the President's unilateral attempt to suspend the law and impose his policy preferences at all costs,” Schmidt said. “The case is just beginning, and the path forward will be full of challenges, but this preliminary victory is a strong indication that even the President is not above the law. Of course, extended litigation and uncertainty can be avoided if only the President will work together with Congress to achieve immigration reform.”
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that through “executive action” he would impose various changes to federal immigration law and policy, including Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). On December 3, 2014, a group of states led by Texas, including Kansas, joined in a lawsuit challenging the President's legal authority to order those changes without either action by Congress or the ordinary safeguards of administrative process, such as the opportunity for public input. The number of plaintiff states has now grown to 27. Yesterday's temporary injunction puts the President's “executive action” on indefinite hold while the litigation proceeds.