Yes, you read that right. Bush appointee Arthur Schwab, who also happens to be a wingnut "struck down" Obama's immigration order, without being asked for his opinion on it.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled on Tuesday that President Barack Obama's administrative actions on immigration, which could grant deportation relief to up to 5 million people, go beyond "beyond prosecutorial discretion" and are therefore unconstitutional.
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab, a George W. Bush appointee, was the first to address the constitutionality of Obama's executive actions. Schwab's decision, however, does not appear to carry any real-world consequences. The judge, who has a highly unusual history of being removed from cases due to temperament and charges of bias, was not asked to rule on the issue and instead inserted his opinion into a criminal case.
Schwab was removed from a case in 2008 to bring about what a higher court called "a reduced level of rancor," a rare if not unprecedented move that a law professor told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review at the time was "considered to be a disciplinary action." He was pulled from a case again in 2012. Schwab recused himself from 17 ongoing cases in 2011 because of bias allegations. He was the first federal judge to advance the scope of religious protections created by the conservative Supreme Court justices in the recent Hobby Lobby decision.
So how did he manage to sneak that into his decision? Washington Post:
The procedural background of the case is somewhat unusual. The case involves an individual who was deported and then reentered the country unlawfully. In considering how to sentence the defendant, the court sought supplemental briefing on the applicability of the new policies to the defendant, and whether these policies would provide the defendant with additional avenues for seeking the deferral of his deportation. In this case, however, it’s not entirely clear it was necessary to reach the constitutional question to resolve the issues before the court with regard to the defendant’s sentence.
Isn't there a code of judicial ethics that bars judges from overstepping the boundaries of their case?
By the way, those immigration executive orders don't apply to criminals.