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Federal Judge threatens to hold DHS Secretary in contempt

Federal Judge threatens to hold DHS Secretary in contempt

The saga continues

The presiding federal Judge in Texas vs. United States Andrew Hanen is not playing around. Wednesday, Judge Hanen threatened to hold Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in contempt of court.

Under Johnson’s watch, and after Judge Hanen blocked President Obama’s immigration overreach, approximately 2,000 individuals “erroneously” received work permits. To date, Johnson has yet to correct the mistake to Judge Hanen’s satisfaction.

The Associated Press reports:

A federal judge in Texas has threatened to hold Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other top immigration enforcement officials in contempt of court for not fixing problems that led to work permits being mistakenly awarded under President Barack Obama’s executive immigration action after the judge had put the plan on hold.

The Justice Department had said about 2,000 individuals had been sent three-year work authorizations after U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, temporarily blocked the immigration action on Feb. 16.

In a court order Tuesday, Hanen said government officials have yet to fix the problem. The judge also requested Johnson and four other officials attend an Aug. 19 hearing to explain why the issue hasn’t been fixed and to “be prepared to show why he or she should not be held in contempt of court.”

“This court has expressed its willingness to believe that these actions were accidental and not done purposefully to violate this court’s order. Nevertheless, it is shocked and surprised at the cavalier attitude the government has taken with regard to its `efforts’ to rectify this situation,” Hanen wrote.

Secretary Johnson isn’t the only individual at risk of contempt. According to the Associated Press, R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Ronald Vitiello, deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol; Sarah Saldaña, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, have also been implicated for their refusal to correct the work authorization issuance error.

Hanen is not acting without grace though. The judge indicated the August 19 hearing would be cancelled if the federal government acts to fix the problem by July 31.

“Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron said in an email her agency and the Justice Department are reviewing Hanen’s order. Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush declined to comment. In court documents filed in May, Rodríguez had said his agency had implemented “immediate corrective measures,” including revoking the permits and modifying computer systems to prevent issuing such permits in the future,” reports the AP.

You can read the orders here:

Texas Immigration Executive Action Case – Order to Appear

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DINORightMarie | July 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

So tired of the threats to take action.


Long past time to call for a special prosecutor/independent investigation of this!!!!


/end rant

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to DINORightMarie. | July 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I hear you Marie.

    It’s long past time they (including AG’s) were in prison!

    Well, other than the conspiracy theories (e.g. blackmail, coercion, etc.), there is the following practical limitation and observation of human nature:

    Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    Peaceful protests are only effective when the antagonist is either tolerant or outclassed. I think we are in a state of progressive corruption, but it seems clear that it has not yet breached the threshold of “sufferable”.

    That said, we should probably stop contracepting and aborting Americans (“secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”). As well as dispensing or compensating for class diversity policies (e.g. education, culture) that denigrate individual dignity and degrade our common union. We are playing a long game.

    Eastwood Ravine in reply to DINORightMarie. | July 9, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    It would not surprise me in the least if certain members of the Obama administration eventually served time in prison. Unless Dear Leader gives them presidential pardons.

      mrtomsr in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | July 9, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Not knowing how the pardon works, can there be “fill in the blank name” pardons presigned, or must charges and/or a conviction happen before a pardon can be issued?

        LSBeene in reply to mrtomsr. | July 10, 2015 at 11:22 am

        The President has blanket powers to pardon anyone, for anything, at any time. He can wait until his last day (and many Presidents have) and sign a bunch on his way out and they are then untouchable.

        I would be curious, as I admit my ignorance, if this gives them immunity for state (versus federal) prosecution.

    Asking for forgiveness instead of permission only goes so far.
    These Obama appointees obviously need lessons they will deeply regret. They can keep their worthless “apologies.”

Overlapping and convergent interests ensure that a political (i.e. dictatorial or consensus) solution is not forthcoming. It’s telling that the so-called “civil rights” groups do not represent Americans’ civil rights. Other than Judge Hanen, we are underrepresented.

Finally, a show cause hearing.

It would be a HOOT to see Secretary Johnson, Commissioner Kerlikowske, Deputy Chief Vitiello, Director Saldana, and Director Rodriguez led away in HANDCUFFS from the Court. THAT alone would make it worthwhile. And the optics would be just fantastic for destroying the Obama Administration narratives.

I can see the headlines now (both the Conservative media and the Main Stream Morons:

– Judge Jails Top Officials for Immigration Work Permits
– Rogue Judge Jails Administration Officials For Granting Work Permits
– Texas Judge Finds Obama Administration in Contempt; Jails Homeland Security Secretary
– Homeland Security Secretary Found In Contempt, Jailed.
– Illegal Aliens Granted Work Permits Cost Homeland Security Secretary His Freedom.

As a secondary note, in reading through the Order – This thing is going to have legs. Notice that the individual defendants MUST appear IN PERSON, not merely through their attorneys.

“In addition to the individual Defendants, the Government shall bring all relevant witnesses on this topic as the Court will not continue this matter to a later date. The Government has conceded that it has directly violated this Court’s Order in its May 7, 2015 Advisory, yet, as of today, two months have passed since the Advisory and it has not remediated its own violative behavior. That is unacceptable and, as far as the Government’s attorneys are concerned, completely unprofessional. To be clear, this Court expects the Government to be in full compliance with this Court’s injunction. Compliance as to just those aliens living in the Plaintiff States is not full compliance.

Emphasis added.

There’s going to be a WHOLE LOT of people in that room. EVERY RELEVANT WITNESS means each person who had a hand in promulgating the policy and each person with authority to implement that policy.

I think you’re going to see some movement REALLY quickly on revoking those 2,000 individuals benefits.

If I were the attorneys representing the government, and one of my clients failed to appear, I would be bringing my toothbrush and expecting to spend a long time in Jail.

I wonder how big the Jail is up in Hanen’s district?

    platypus in reply to Chuck Skinner. | July 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    IIRC, a fed judge who initiates a punitive contempt is prohibited from conducting the hearing. Of course, since the violation is ongoing it could easily be characterized as a remedial contempt which means the judge can both initiate the contempt action and also conduct the hearing.

      CloseTheFed in reply to platypus. | July 9, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      What?? Granted, I don’t practice in federal court, but I have never heard that a judge can’t hear a contempt in a case over which he presides, absent some very unusual circumstance.

      What rule of federal procedure/statute are you relying upon?????

bring your toothbrush

Andrew Hanen is not playing around.



Maybe even a few “red lines”.

But no action. Still.

From where I’m standing, that looks like somebody’s playing around.

But it gets better:

“This court has expressed its willingness to believe that these actions were accidental and not done purposefully to violate this court’s order.”

Right. And the atomic bomb was built by accident, too.

    This Order is Judge Hanen throwing down the gauntlet.

    I don’t know if you practice in Federal Court, or if you’re even an attorney, but if I were on the receiving end of an Order like this, I would be quaking in my boots and telling my clients in no uncertain terms that if this isn’t fully fixed by that July 31 11:59PM deadline that they should expect to be jailed on August 19th for a not-insignificant amount of time.

    This is action by the Court.

    As for the “accidental” nature of the violation, that’s the Judge’s polite way of saying “Attorney X, this may not be your fault, but you made a representation on behalf of your client that was FALSE (and violated a Court Injunction), and you had better tell your client that they had better fix it FAST or it will LOOK like you, Attorney X, have lied to the Court ON PURPOSE.

    That, right there, is a one-way ticket to being disbarred in EVERY jurisdiction that I know of.

      By throwing down the gauntlet the judge only assured the witnesses in question won’t show up. Good luck enforcing the contempt issue when Jeh Johnson is holed up in DC.

      And no US Atty is going to be disbarred, or have anything happen, at all. For the executive agencies, law is just another way of say ‘we do what we want’.

        CloseTheFed in reply to TtT. | July 10, 2015 at 8:48 am

        Clinton was either suspended or disbarred for about 5 years, as I recall. Bill Clinton.

Subotai Bahadur | July 9, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Ms. Kaye, with all due respect [literal and not in any way sarcastic] what basis do you have to even hope that the rule of law will in any way apply to any government official? You were probably not even born the last time any civilian Federal official was held to account for their actions.

We left the rule of law far behind long ago. We made it official with King -v- Burwell.

The prolonged delay between the issuance of this order to appear and the date of appearance is an open invitation for the regime to get a compliant Supreme Court to either quash the whole thing, or for them to prepare open defiance by either Executive Order or simple failure to appear. The absolute worst that will happen to the regime is that a few low level and highly expendable lawyers will spend a few hours in a cell. . . maybe.

    There are some benefits to it. If the Obama administration openly flouts the Judge’s order by simply failing to appear as commanded, that opens the door to the States ignoring the SCOTUS orders. The administration DOES NOT WANT THAT having just “won” a court order forcing Same Sex Marriage down the throat of the American people.

    Two can play at that game. If the Administration is not going to recognize Federal Court authority, why should the States? (and believe me, if they DO flout that, expect Gov. Greg Abbott to be in front of the press about how it diminishes the standing of the Obama Administration to follow or ignore Federal Court Orders as it suits them).

    As for the SCOTUS quashing the whole thing, there would have to be two emergency appeals AFTER August 19th, first to the 5th Circuit (which will say that the Contempt holding is fine) and then to the SCOTUS (and who knows what the hell THEY will do). Until the Judge ACTUALLY acts, there’s nothing to appeal, and even an emergency stay would take some time to get processed.

“revoking the permits and modifying computer systems to prevent issuing such permits in the future”

Any proof of that? These people have little respect for courts that disagree with them, so why not lie to their face?

    CloseTheFed in reply to randian. | July 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Well, they’ve already lied to Judge Hannen’s face.

    Yeah, I was wondering about that too. They claim there’s no issue here. The judge claims there is. That just doesn’t add up. I’m inclined to believe the judge.

    However, I’m also inclined to believe that no Obama appointee is going to care one way or the other what some judge thinks until the cuffs are actually on their wrists. It is not in their nature to consider that their actions may have negative consequences.

    This holds out the possibility of being quite entertaining.

Henry Hawkins | July 9, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Golly gee, if Jeh Johnson is held in contempt he’ll suffer the same consequences as Eric Holder, held in contempt by Congress. Oh, the horror, the humanity!


    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 9, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Not so, Henry. VERY different circumstances.

    A Federal judge could order his ass jailed immediately, and the Marshals he commands would see it was done.

    Rags is right. A Judge is the closest thing to God you are ever going to meet on this earth.

    They have the inherent power in their courtroom to do just about anything, and they are right until a higher judge tells them they’re wrong.

    Further, the Judge may make a finding, right then and there, that the Defendants have committed such an egrgieous violation by failing to appear that they have DEFAULTED in their defense, and Plaintiff should win immediately.

      Those are just words. They mean nothing to DHS. You can bet your next paycheck that IF these witnesses do show up, they will bring FBI or Marshals or Secret Service with them, or hired guards, and they absolutely, positively will not allow themselves to be arrested.

Will Obama not intervene somehow to reign in this “rogue” judge? If so, how might he do it? He, along with his fawning media, control the narrative so I expect this to go nowhere fast……

    President Obama has no power or authority to reign in the Judge. He can scold, he can use the bully pulpit and that’s about it.

    If Obama wants to openly FLOUT a Judge’s order to show cause, that will end VERY, VERY badly for the Administration, because it will piss off even the “progressive” Judges, who still have some modicum of “we’re Judges, we’re entitled to a certain respect.”

    I can see some of the more boisterous Republican presidential candidates making A LOT of hay out of this if the Administration simply ignores the Court.

How come Barack Obama is not on that contempt of court list? He is the one that gives the order to do that.

This site should be converted to one of those online gambling sites. You could take bets on what’s going to happen in this case. I’d put a lot of money on “nothing”. I don’t know why people continue to think the law, or a judge, means anything. It’s pretty funny.
Once the judge starts talking about contempt, some US atty will stand up and say ‘whoa whoa, this letter in this word means you can’t do this’, and he’ll be wrong, but it won’t matter, and the defendant witnesses will just walk right on out.

    Funny thing: Many, if not most, Judges are kind, compassionate people who are well rounded and patient.

    There is ONE thing that they do NOT do: Make idle threats.

    By the time a Judge gets to writing an Order like the one above, it means that they are ready, willing and able to carry it out.

    At that point, it does not matter what an attorney says. If the party in violation hasn’t done what the Judge has commanded him/her/them to do, all the advocacy and all the “prior law” in the world won’t mean a thing.

    I have SEEN it happen.

    As for why a large group of us here continue to think that the Law and/or Judicial opinion means anything, it’s quite simple. The alternative is ARMED insurrection. Most of the country is not ready for that (although the percentage which is prepared for it is growing every day). There IS a tipping point where it becomes inevitable, but we have not yet reached it.

Henry Hawkins | July 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm

“This court has expressed its willingness to believe that these actions were accidental and not done purposefully to violate this court’s order. Nevertheless, it is shocked and surprised at the cavalier attitude the government has taken with regard to its `efforts’ to rectify this situation,” Hanen wrote.

Hanen has already signaled how he’ll back down by informing the administration how to defend itself. Repeat: Nothing will happen to Jeh Johnson.

Uncle Samuel | July 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Is ‘Homeland Security’ just an illusion and a political elite get-rich scheme like global warming/climate change?

“According to the National Priorities Project, every hour since 9/11/2001, taxpayers in the United States are paying $6.74 MILLION for Homeland Security.

As of this writing, that means we have paid MORE THAN $631,778,000,000! And it is rising rapidly.”

Cost of Homeland Security Since 9/11 with live counter.


A type of deportation
=== ===
[edited] The Obama Administration ordered the deportation of 900,000 illegal aliens and crows about the large number of people deported, but fails to note they have not exited the US. They were ordered “deported” but were not present for their court hearing. They had already gone into the shadows.

“The U.S. legal and police systems appear unable to enforce immigration laws. Documents show that about 900,000 undocumented immigrants have been ordered deported “in absentia”, meaning a judge kicked them out without them even knowing it. This includes 170,000 criminals.”
=== ===

The attempt to impeach President Bill Clinton was a teaching moment for US politicians.
=== ===
[edited] The defining moment of Bill Clinton’s presidency may well be his rationalization to a grand jury. Clinton had told his top aids about Monica Lewinsky that “there’s nothing going on between us.” The grand jury prosecutor asked, wasn’t that a lie? Clinton responded (according to footnote 1,128 in Starr’s report):

“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”
=== ===

Clinton was eventually disbarred as a lawyer, but not impeached. There was no large public sentiment for his removal from office.

That told amazed politicians that a likeable man in office could outright lie in the usual sense, but could avoid widespread blame, if there was a shred of an argument that somehow, some way, an interpretation of his statement could be true, no matter how farfetched.

Obama learned that lesson and has applied it vigorously. You in the public may have used your own faulty definition of what “deported” means. Too bad. “Deported” means exactly what Obama wants it to mean, neither more nor less.

( )
Alice in Wonderland
=== ===
Humpty Dumpty:  (in a rather scornful tone)  When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

Alice:  The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.

Humpty Dumpty:  The question is who is to be master, that is all.
=== ===