Judge Napolitano Says Judicial Slapdowns of Presidential Actions 'Rare' in American History, Raises Specter of 'I' Word

In another major blow to the president's executive amnesty program, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused Tuesday to allow its implementation. The decision could affect as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. But the White House remains unchastised, claiming that the judges who voted against the administration "chose to misinterpret the facts and the law." On Fox News Tuesday afternoon, legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said that if the president continues to flout the law by freezing deportations, "there is a congressional remedy...."

Via Fox News:

The U.S. Justice Department had asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's earlier decision temporarily halting the administration's plan. Hanen issued the temporary hold in February, after 26 states filed a lawsuit alleging Obama's action was unconstitutional.

Two out of the three judges on a court panel, though, voted Tuesday to deny the government's request, as the underlying case is argued.

White House Spokesperson Brandi Hoffine said after the ruling, "today, two judges of the Fifth Circuit chose to misinterpret the facts and the law in denying the government's request for a stay."

The majority opinion reasoned that lifting the temporary hold -- known in judicial parlance as issuing a "stay" -- could cause serious problems for states should they ultimately win their challenge. It said the states have shown that "issuance of the stay will substantially injure" them.

It continued: "A stay would enable DAPA beneficiaries to apply for driver's licenses and other benefits, and it would be difficult for the states to retract those benefits or recoup their costs even if they won on the merits. That is particularly true in light of the district court's findings regarding the large number of potential beneficiaries, including at least 500,000 in Texas alone."

Hoffine commended Judge Higginson's dissent, which stated that Obama's immigration executive actions are "fully consistent with the law.”

She insisted that Obama’s actions were within his authority and cited the 15 states, the District of Columbia and other constituencies that have joined the administration in asking the courts that Obama’s immigration programs be allowed to move ahead.

The Department of Justice is evaluating the ruling and will consider its next steps while its appeal of the preliminary injunction proceeds on an expedited basis in the 5th Circuit, administration officials said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised Tuesday's decision.

"The separation of powers and check and balances remain the law of the land, and this decision is a victory for those committed to preserving the rule of law in America," he said in a written statement.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) denounced the ruling in a strongly worded statement.

“This ruling is an affront for our immigrant families,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “From the beginning, this lawsuit has been part of the ongoing anti-immigrant attacks against hardworking immigrants led by the extreme right.”

“This is a temporary setback, but one that we do not take lightly,” said Matos. “Our families are tired of waiting, and they are tired of living in fear. If anything, this ruling has made us even more determined than ever to continue the fight. Our movement will continue to fearlessly escalate so our voices are heard during this fight. We will push aggressively and vigorously until we prevail. Our families deserve to work and live in this country they contribute to every day and call home. They deserve to be treated with the dignity and respect that this decision does not show.”

“We know the law is on our side, as are the majority of Americans who support the President’s actions. This may be a bump on the road, but we will not give up until we prevail,” said Matos.

That much is very true of the left -- they never give up until they've successfully steamrolled over another batch of rights, freedoms and traditions.

But Obama's executive amnesty has a huge hurdle ahead if the DOJ decides to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, because the initial appeal would be to Justice Scalia. He is the circuit justice who hears emergency appeals from that region of the United States. And he is not terribly likely to interpret the law the way the Obama administration does.

Judge Napolitano explained how rare the decision today was.

"I cannot tell you how rare this is in American history," he told host Neil Cavuto. "For a succession of of federal judges to stop the president of the United States from doing what he says he has the authority to do -- we saw it happen, today."

As for the dilemma that stands before the nation now as our rogue president continues his program of non-deportation of illegal immigrants regardless of the court rulings, Napolitano said, "What's the remedy when the president doesn't do what he took an oath to do? It's a congressional remedy. It's the 'I' word nobody wants to talk about. It's impeachment."

Fox News led its evening broadcast Tuesday with a full report on the court’s 2-1 decision on Special Report with Bret Baier.

Meanwhile, according to Newsbusters, the “big three” -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- neglected to mention in their newscasts what amounts to another humiliating defeat for the Obama administration.