The Department of Justice on Tuesday responded harshly to a federal district judge’s accusations that he was deceived by government lawyers in a case involving President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration.
The judge in question, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, ordered additional ethics training for 3,000 Department of Justice attorneys, a punishment which government lawyers argued to “far exceed the bounds of appropriate remedies.”
The lawyers also included that disclosing personal information by June 10 on 50,000 illegal immigrants who qualified for protective status as parents of American- born children would represent an “unprecedented breach” of trust.
In response, Judge Hanen, in his 28 page ruling on May 20, said the lawyers deceived the court by saying they didn’t act on the 2014 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents when “over 100,000 three-year deferred action renewals” were being processed.
Calling it a “serious” calculated plan of unethical conduct, Hanen ordered any justice lawyer wanting to appear in any of the 28 states that are suing the federal government over President Barack Obama’s immigration policy to attend a three-hour legal ethics course, which in turn encompassed the aforementioned 3,000 attorneys.
He further stated: “clearly there seems to be a lack of knowledge about or adherence to the duties of professional responsibility in the halls of the Justice Department.”
In response, DOJ lawyers wrote a 12-page filing stating that Hanen’s conclusions were wrong and of their intent to appeal the order.
“The Department of Justice takes with utmost seriousness the public trust committed to it to represent the interests of the American people in the courts of the United States, and insists that its attorneys adhere to the high standards of ethical conduct and professionalism required to carry out that critical mission,” department lawyers wrote in an excerpt within the filing.
They also argued that they would be producing sensitive personal information about illegal immigrants.
The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether the administration’s 2014 immigration policy deferring deportation of illegal immigrants whose children were born in the United States is constitutional.