It's unanimous: right-wing conservatives who have a beef with President Obama on immigration choose to file their lawsuits with federal judge Andrew Hanen in Texas. That's not just the case with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott—who led the charge on the 26-state challenge to President Obama's 2014 immigration actions—it's also true for none other than the birther queen herself
, Orly Taitz, who last year sought to stop the federal government from bussing immigrant minors from Texas to temporary detention centers outside the state.
Although her case against the Department of Homeland Security, Taitz v. Johnson, is entirely separate from Abbott’s lawsuit, Texas v. U.S., it’s no accident that they both ended up in the same court. Taitz chose to steer her case toward Texas-based federal judge Andrew Hanen rather than, for instance, filing in a federal court based in California, where she lives. While no one has ever definitely proven that Abbott & Co. "shopped around" for a friendly judge to hear their case—which would be at the very least unethical—Taitz clearly did have her eye on Hanen from the start, and with good reason.
Taitz needed to find a sympathetic judge because, as one might expect, her lawsuit was a piece of work. In her initial complaint, filed July 14, 2014, Taitz accuses the federal government of "trafficking illegal aliens" and seeks either "an emergency immediate turnaround and deportation" of the children or a two-month quarantine of them in a FEMA facility. At the time, the government was trying to find a humane and legal way of absorbing the influx of thousands of refugee children from Central America.
After Judge Hanen ordered the U.S. government to explain why he shouldn’t grant Taitz’s request, she was ecstatic. In a letter to the executive assistant of anti-immigrant Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, Taitz wrote, "We now have a real opportunity to stop this ongoing trafficking of illegal aliens, which is currently being carried [out] by the Federal government."
"Judge Hanen is a judge," she explained, "who previously excoriated the US government for acting as human smugglers.”
The letter, which she posted
to her website, was first reported
by OC Weekly last August.
For more on why Taitz was so enthused about Judge Hanen, continue below the fold.
The case Taitz refers to is one involving a woman who pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador into the U.S. to live with her undocumented mother. The woman was arrested but government officials chose to reunite the girl with her mother in the U.S. instead of deporting the pair, per a settlement agreement, Flores v. Reno.
In the case, which was about the woman who assisted the girl, Hanen went out of his way to comment on the government's handling of the mother.
“There is nothing in this settlement,” Hanen complains, “that prohibits the [federal government] from arresting” the mother. Or, barring that, “from at least initiating deportation proceedings.”
Hanen concludes that by failing to arrest or deport, the government has essentially collaborated in a "criminal conspiracy."
It’s little wonder Taitz filed with Hanen. Her original motion is full of all sorts of problematic claims, much like this one in the "Statement of Facts" section:
Six months ago [President] Obama and [Sec. Jeh] Johnson created an elaborate plan to effectuate de facto smuggling and trafficking of hundreds of thousands of illegals and hired transportation carriers, medical services, education services, escorts and even nannies to spread all over his nation hundreds of thousands of illegals and dump them on the unsuspecting population.
Hanen must have found those arguments pretty persuasive because on August 1—less than three weeks from her original filing—he ordered the Department of Homeland Security to give a reason, or "show cause," for why he shouldn’t grant Taitz's request for an emergency stay. Later that month, Hanen also granted her motion to subpoena four border patrol agents to appear before him on August 27, 2014. The case is still ongoing.
But all this quick treatment of birther Orly Taitz's lawsuit stands in stark contrast to Hanen's treatment of the Obama administration request, filed Monday, that Hanen lift his hold on President Obama's 2014 immigration actions. Here's Josh Gerstein with those details.
The federal judge in Texas who blocked President Barack Obama’s latest executive actions on immigration signaled Tuesday that he isn’t inclined to rush a decision on the Obama Administration’s request to lift the injunction he imposed last week.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen’s order saying he’ll give the states suing the federal government another week to respond means the issue of a possible stay in the case will likely be taken up by a federal appeals court before he rules one way or another.
In its stay application, the Justice Department said that if Hanen did not act by the end of Wednesday, the feds would petition the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Moral of the story: If you want to make some outrageous anti-immigrant claim in court and be taken seriously, do what Orly Taitz did and file with Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas.