Given how slowly the wheels of justice often turn, it had appeared that it would take months for the judiciary to take a stand on the Obama initiative; the constitutional question might not be answered by them at least until late in the Obama presidency. That expectation ended suddenly on Tuesday, when a federal judge in Pittsburgh found a way – a highly unusual way – to move into the middle of the constitutional controversy….
As it turned out, however, the judge did not really strike down the new Obama policy – at least not in the usual way of judicial nullification of a federal law. The judge did not order the government to abandon plans to enforce the policy, and, in fact, proceeded to write the remainder of his ruling as if the policy were valid. In the binding part of the ruling, Judge [Arthur] Schwab gave the Honduran immigrant a chance to drop his guilty plea and, if he wished, to try to take advantage of the new deferral of deportation that soon would be available for at least some individuals who are in the country illegally. There is a chance, the judge said, that the policy might create an opening in the Honduran’s situation.