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Arpaio loses immigration lawsuit against Obama

imageIt was pretty clear that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not the chosen representative of the American people, as his lawsuit to overturn the Obama Administration’s immigration policy of deferred deportations met with a prompt dismissal by a federal judge in the District of Columbia for lack of standing.

In a 33-page decision issued yesterday, federal judge and Obama appointee Beryl A. Howell dismissed the lawsuit following a hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction. Judge Howell rejected Arpaio’s plea to take an activist judicial stance, rather citing the doctrine of “the proper—and properly limited—rule of the courts in a democratic society.” Judge Howell was not interesting in making “policy properly left to elected representatives.”

Judge Howell cited heavily from the Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. United States 132 S. Ct. (2012) overturning much of an Arizona immigration law, SB 1070.

I note that Judge Howell had the same problem with Arpaio’s complaint that I did:

At the outset, the plaintiff’s Complaint and motion for preliminary injunction fail to identify whether the plaintiff is bringing suit in his individual capacity or in his official capacity as the elected Sheriff of Maricopa County.

During oral arguments, this was clarified—the answer is “both.” Still Arpaio was unable to show a particularized injury in either case sufficient to grant him standing to sue. Arpaio claimed death threats were an injury, threats that occurred before the Administration policies were made.

Read more:

Hearing in Arpaio v. Obama slated for Monday

Update: News reports say that U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell greeted Arpaio’s motion with skepticism today. She stated that deferred deportation policies have been around since the 1970’s and it was unclear how Sheriff Arpaio had standing to bring the suit.

A hearing is scheduled for December 22, in an immigration lawsuit [ link to 1:2014cv01966] filed by Joe Arpaio and his birther attorney Larry Klayman. I’m waiting for the inevitable dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Yesterday Klayman filed a supplemental declaration by Arpaio, repeating pretty much what they filed before.

I continue to wonder exactly who is filing the lawsuit. It is Joe Arpaio (who is named) or is it the Sheriff of Maricopa County. This latest filing plays with the latter, saying:

The unconstitutional act of the President’s Executive Actions must be enjoined  by a court of law on behalf of not only just myself and my Office which represents the people of Maricopa County, Arizona, but all of the American people.

Klayman had previously requested that Arpaio be allowed to testify live at the hearing and I think I read that this request was denied.

Arpaio seeks a preliminary injunction against Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

List of documents:

Arpaio v. Obama, and other legal stuff

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has not been lucky with attorneys lately.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s office has been operating under a court-appointed monitor after it was determined that they were guilty of racial profiling. Judge Snow appointed Robert Warshaw as the monitor. According to the Greenfield Reporter,

Snow says he will have Robert Warshaw, who is monitoring the agency on the judge’s behalf, investigate any allegations that he feels the sheriff’s office isn’t examining in good faith.

Warshaw has said his team has never seen more unprofessional interviews than those conducted by Arpaio’s employees who are running the investigation.

Ouch! Judge Snow said in court yesterday (November 21) that Sheriff Joe could be held in contempt of court! Arpaio is appealing the decision by Snow, but he’s run into another snag: the attorney representing him wants out, citing ethics concerns, says the Associated Press:

A lawyer representing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a racial profiling case says legal ethics compel his firm to step aside.

As one might expect, no details of what the ethics concern is about were made public, although it was detailed in court filing earlier in the week.

The embattled sheriff is trying to take the offensive, by suing the President over his announced new immigration policy, reports Reuters:

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose force used racial profiling during a crackdown on illegal migrants last year according to a judge, said Obama has overstepped his powers by bypassing Congress and bringing in the changes himself.

I wonder who’s paying the legal bill, and who Arpaio could get to represent him in the case? The second question is easily answered from court filings: Larry E. Klayman. What is a little difficult for me as a layman to determine is whether Arpaio is suing as a private citizen, or as Sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio is described in the complaint caption as  “Elected SHERIFF of Maricopa County,” but the complaint does not use the phrase “in his official capacity,” nor does it suggest that the County is a party to the suit. It looks like Arpaio is suing as a private citizen, and that immediately raises the question of standing. In addressing the issue of standing, the complaint states:

27. Plaintiff Joe Arpaio is adversely affected and harmed in his office’s finances, workload, and interference with the conduct of his duties, but the failure of the executive branch to enforce existing immigration laws, but has been severely affected by increases in the influx of illegal aliens motivated by Defendant Obama’s policies of offering amnesty….

The other defendants are Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Leon Rodriquez, Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services and Eric Holder, Jr. Attorney General.

Read more:

KPHO Story on Klayman and the suit

Klayman’s Kopy Kat lawsuit

It seems that Larry Klayman exhibits a curious pattern of behavior, following Orly Taitz around and copying her lawsuits.

Taitz, as you know, was one of the early attorneys filing lawsuits over Barack Obama’s eligibility, starting with the Alan Keyes lawsuit in California. Taitz later became plaintiff in her own lawsuits over the issue. Larry Klayman followed suit (no pun intended) in 2012 representing Michael Voeltz in Florida, and most recently himself petitioning to have Barack Obama deported, probably as a prelude to filing a lawsuit on his own behalf.

Now it’s happened again. Orly Taitz broke new ground with her lawsuit against the government to stop immigration from countries with active Ebola outbreaks and to quarantine them. She certainly caught the leading edge of that one, before the first person became sick in the United States of the disease. Now Klayman, writing in his WorldNetDaily column, says he is preparing a similar suit in response to what he calls “Ebola-gate.” He writes:

In the interim, I am fashioning a lawsuit to force Obama to curtail travel and immigration from Liberia and the rest of West Africa until we know we can combat the deadly Ebola outbreak. And, immigration from all Muslim nations where terrorists have a beachhead must also be immediately stopped.

Oh, yes, he has a thing about Muslims too.

The Mighty Klayman has struck out

Not much to report except except the snappy title. The Supreme Court announced today that it has refused to hear an appeal by Larry Klayman of the decision from the Florida Supreme Court In re Michael Voeltz.

Michael Voeltz filed a 2012 lawsuit in Florida against the Florida Secretary of State to require Obama to prove his eligibility or else not be on the ballot in Florida. Klayman joined the effort resulting in an amended complaint that some (Orly Taitz) say fouled it up. All told, there were 3 Klayman/Voeltz lawsuits filed in Florida state courts, none successful.

This blog has several articles about these lawsuits:

H/t to Rickey.

Taitz takes the stand

Larry Klayman sued Judicial Watch over something Orly Taitz wrote on her blog. In the trial, Orly Taitz (not a party to the defamation suit) was called as a witness. The transcript from May 30, 2014, makes interesting reading in a twisted sort of way.

The big picture is that Orly Taitz, quoting Freedom Watch staffer Constance Ruffley, wrote that Larry Klayman had been “convicted just recently of not paying a large amount in child support.” This statement was put in the context of raising doubts over whether people should donate money to support Klayman in filing Obama eligibility lawsuits. More details can be found in this article from Courthouse News Service and my articles tagged Klayman v. Judicial Watch. Taitz repeated a number of other negatives about Klayman, focusing on the fact that at the time Taitz was writing, Klayman had not filed some lawsuits that he was supposed to have filed. It was the child support issue, however, that was at the center, because what Taitz wrote was not true: Klayman was indicted, but not convicted.

Shortly after the Taitz article appeared, Klayman contacted Taitz to demand a retraction of her story because it wasn’t true. Taitz didn’t retract the entire story, but issued a correction, saying that Klayman “has not been convicted yet.”

The testimony establishes from Taitz what Ruffley told her. It attempts to establish (unsuccessfully from my vantage point) how long it took for Taitz to correct the article after Klayman contacted her. Klayman appears to assign great significance to the word “yet” in “not convicted yet” while Taitz seems to think it means nothing. This difference may be one of bias, or Taitz may not understand the connotation the word has in English.

Klayman (as Taitz has done in other cases) interrupts the judge—in this case drawing repeated warnings from Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. After the jury was excused, the judge chastised Klayman about interruptions, in the strongest terms. By my count, Klayman interrupted the judge twice during this final admonition. Nowhere does Orly Taitz speak her signature “let me finish” because Judge Altonaga was bound and determined that Taitz not be interrupted. Klayman did, however, use the phrase.

Taitz demonstrates her questionable legal skills in trying to define a “crime,” asserting that one can be convicted of something that wasn’t a crime. She also seems to think a class 5 felony in Ohio is a misdemeanor.

It has been often said in comments on this blog that Orly Taitz is jealous of her donations and defensive about her place as the only birther attorney actually doing anything. Klayman asked her point blank:

Q. So you were resentful that money donated to me for eligibility lawsuits wasn’t going to go to you, right?

and Taitz replied:

A. Absolutely not.

Who knew? Here’s the transcript courtesy of the Jack Ryan collection.

SD FL DOC 145 – Klayman v Judicial Watch – Testimony of Orly Taitz – S.D.fla._1-13-Cv-20610_145 by Jack Ryan

The jury found that Larry Klayman was defamed and that he should receive compensatory damages in the amount of $156,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $25,000.