Oh, those wacky Clinton-appointed judges

This is the third time in a month that a judge has struck down a hot topic policy that the Bush administration supports (this time it’s an immigration policy that got the ax) and it’s the third time that the judge was a Clinton appointee. This time the judge was Charles R. Breyer, who sits in San Francisco, and about whom I can’t say much that is good — although, to be fair, I’d have to say the same about most Bay Area judges who have decided matters on which I’ve worked. It’s not that my work is so stellar that the judges should bow down before it and rule in my favor. Nope. I has more to do with the fact that so many Bay Area judges manifestly rely on gut feelings and prejudices, without making even the semblance of a bow to the controlling law. But back to topic:

Without know the legal issues, I’m not going to stick my neck out here to challenge Justice Breyer’s opinion. For all I know, he’s absolutely right. I’m just noting a trend in federal court rulings lately. I’ll also note that, for litigation attacking federal policies, forum shopping is easy.

For other examples of this trend, see this and this.

As a complete aside, Justice Breyer is the younger brother of Justice Stephen Breyer, one of Clinton’s Supreme Court appointees.

UPDATE:  The Captain, who has actually taken the time to examine the issue and the ruling, is dismayed.  His post on the subject begins as follows:  “It’s hard to imagine what Judge Charles R. Breyer had in mind when he issued a ruling that prevents the government from detecting identity fraud, but clearly it wasn’t the law or the interests of the American community.” You’ll want to read the rest.

2 Responses

  1. 2007.10.10 Politics and National Defense Roundup

    [Updated frequently throughout the day. Please come back often.] Quick hits: Michael Yon: Under Distant Stars 250 Pro-Taliban Dead; Pakistani Army Calls Ceasefire New Armed Robot Groomed for War Sweet Neocon Killer Robots! [Bwuu-ha-ha-ha-ha!] U.S. Inte…

  2. My brother’s commentary on this decision is below, and I simply can’t find room for disagreement. While I think the Captain’s point is that this judge would undermine ANY enforcement regime that was attempted, the current proposal by the Admin appears to be made in bad faith – actually aiming at messing things up and increasing the pressures for blanket amnesty. I hope that’s wrong, but that’s how it looks when they ignore all the foundational actions and propose THIS turkey!!

    The following is from my brother:

    “There was a political subtext to the decision and to the regulatory action that brought it about. Having lost on the “amnesty” bill, last spring, and with no previous history of trying to enforce the laws against hiring illegals, the Bush administration decided to launch this “fire all your employees with non-matching social security numbers” initiative, in California, right at the beginning of the harvest season.

    Let’s be extra special sweet and generous and give them the benefit of the (very small) doubt, stipulating that they weren’t just cynically trying to create a cause celebre. Taken as a genuine initiative, the best one can say for it was that it was an extraordinarily ham-handed attempt to begin enforcing a law they had been ignoring for over six years.

    We have somewhere between 11 million and 30 million illegals in the country. Nobody thinks that a smart approach to that problem involves putting them all out of work overnight (along with who knows how many innocents – I’ve got some experience dealing with social security number issues in the banking context and, believe me, the government makes lots of mistakes). No one on the responsible end of the amnesty opposition was calling for this.

    Job one is to get control of the border – a task that the Bush administration seems remarkably reluctant to tackle despite the national security issues it poses. Once the border is secure to the point that a deportee can’t just turn around and walk back in, we’ll talk about amnesty for those who are here already, what kind, how much and to whom. As part of that amnesty, we’ll create significant sanctions for those who get caught here illegally (which will encourage most of them to go home on their own). Then, and only then, do we start employer enforcement.

    If the administration wants to start doing something immediately, let them start deporting the illegals who get picked up for criminal violations. Start jailing deportees who return illegally. Start the process of cutting off federal funds for cities and states that declare themselves “sanctuaries” for illegals.

    Captain Ed is usually pretty sensible. This time, he missed the target by a mile.”

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