Larry Klayman had a date in court on Monday on a pretrial motion in the case he filed on behalf of fascist Sheriff Joe Arpaio against President Obama’s immigration orders. My former colleague Elise Foley reports that it didn’t go very well for Klayman:
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell on Monday seemed skeptical of a lawsuit filed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” on immigration, over executive actions by the president that could protect up to 5 million people from being deported.
It was the first hearing on a case brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia over the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, specifically those that provide deferred action and work authorization to undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children or are the parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents…
The central questions on Monday were whether Arpaio had standing to bring the case, and whether he faces injury because of the actions. The Justice Department asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
Howell questioned Klayman for nearly an hour over how the executive actions would affect Arpaio. She said she was “puzzled” about whether Arpaio was suing as an individual or in his capacity as sheriff — Klayman said he was suing as both — and seemed skeptical of the arguments that these specific executive actions would cause him harm.She also indicated she was not entirely convinced the courts should weigh in on the executive actions, saying she had “some pause” about the courts intervening when Congress could respond.
Klayman, who founded the advocacy groups Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, appeared to be playing to the history books. He predicted the case would go to the Supreme Court — Howell said she wouldn’t make predictions — and that Howell would be famous if it did.
His challenge, though, was convincing her not to dismiss the case based on standing. He said that on a personal level, Arpaio had faced threats over his immigration views, and that the new programs would worsen that problem. The judge did not seem convinced by that, saying she did not see how her ruling would change how Arpaio is viewed…
Most of Klayman’s arguments were similar to those others have made against Obama’s action. He said it was not just about immigration, but about the Constitution. He said the “precedent is terrible” and that Obama’s action was “trashing our Constitution.” He brought up his and Arpaio’s views on immigrants unprompted — twice to say neither of them were anti-immigrant, and once to say he had never heard the sheriff say anything negative about Latinos. Klayman said the lawsuit should not be considered as an attack on this particular president.
This is pretty standard behavior for Klayman, who seems to think that the goal in filing a lawsuit is to mug for the cameras and inject political rhetoric into the proceedings rather than offering actual legal arguments. That’s why he rarely wins. This case is very likely to be dismissed in the next week or so, as I predicted when it was filed.