Judge Hanen Declines To Rule On Stay Until March 19 Hearing In Brownsville

March 9th, 2015

Judge Hanen is not happy with DOJ, in light of their advisory revealing that they granted over 100,000 extended DACA applications for 3, rather than 2 years. In an order issued moments ago, Judge Hanen stated that he would not rule on any pending motions–including the motion for a stay–until DOJ attends a hearing in Brownsville on March 19 to explain these “serious[]” matters. And they will have to “fully explain” what happened.

Here is the order:

The Plaintiff States filed a Motion for Early Discovery on March 5, 2015, [Doc. No. 183]. Due to the seriousness of the matters discussed therein, the Court will not rule on any other pending motions until it is clear that these matters, if true, do not impact the pending matters or any rulings previously made by this Court.

A hearing on the States’ Motion is set for March 19, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.

In addition to being prepared to respond to the States’ Motion, the Defendants shall be prepared to fully explain to this Court all of the matters addressed in and circumstances surrounding the Defendants’ Advisory filed on March 3, 2015, [Doc. No. 176].

I suspect this may put a crimp on the DOJ’s efforts to file for an emergency stay. While the stay motion is pending before the district court, the 5th Circuit is increasingly unlikely to intervene. Even if DOJ does seek a stay, Texas will likely ask the 5th Circuit to stay any proceedings until Judge Hanen rules.

A messy situation just got even worse for the Obama Administration. This is an unforced error that will delay, for some time, any appeal to the 5th Circuit.

As I noted in my last post, “A trip back to Brownsville would be very salutary.”

Update: I should note that, though Judge Hanen did not name Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Hartnett–who made the representation to the court–she should face the music and appear before the court.