District Court Dismisses Arpaio Lawsuit as Limp

On December 23, 2014, Judge Beryl A. Howell dismissed Sheriff Arpaio’s lawsuit for preliminary injunction against President Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Action. Essentially, the Court opined that matters of immigration are best left to the political braches of government – the Executive and Legislative Branches. Accordingly, the Federal Courts lack jurisdiction over the subject matter of the complaint.

The basis of the Court’s decision is on the principle of standing under the U.S. Constitution, which requires that the Plaintiff suffer actual injury that is causally connected to the alleged harmful conduct, which could be remedied by the court’s decision. Judge Howell determined that Sheriff Arpaio did not suffer actual injury from President Obama’s executive action. Instead, Sheriff Arpaio merely asserted conjectural injury that cannot be traced back to the deferred action programs.

The Court summed up Sheriff Arpaio’s argument as follows: “Ultimately, the plaintiff’s standing argument reduces to a simple generalized grievance: A Federal policy causes his office to expend resources in a manner that he deems suboptimal.To accept such a broad interpretation of the injury requirement would permit nearly all state officials to challenge a host of Federal laws simply because they disagree with how many—or how few—Federal resources are brought to bear on local interests.” The remainder of the decision undermines any argument put forth by the Plaintiff.

The Decision in Arpraio v. Obama should lay to rest any remaining case that challenges President Obama’s authority to grant deferred action or any other executive action he announced on November 20, 2014.


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