(Ken Silva, Headline USA) A federal judge in Texas has granted SpaceX’s request for a moratorium on the Justice Department’s administrative proceedings that were launched over the company allegedly discriminating against foreigners—deeming such proceedings unconstitutional.
After the DOJ sued SpaceX in August for discriminating against asylees and refugees, the company filed a counterclaim in September—alleging that the administrative law judges on the case were “unconstitutionally appointed” because they possess authority that only those appointed by the president should have. The DOJ’s lawsuit is being litigated in the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, as opposed to a federal court in the judicial branch.
In an apparent attempt to counteract SpaceX’s lawsuit, the DOJ hastily passed a regulation in October, giving the Attorney General the power to review decisions made by administrative law judges. The DOJ apparently thought this would address SpaceX’s concerns by having the presidentially appointed Attorney General conduct oversight of otherwise unaccountable administrative judges.
However, SpaceX said that the DOJ’s new regulation is also illegal. While the entire administrative court process is unconstitutional, the DOJ can’t fix the process with a simple regulation, the company said.
“DOJ cannot fix the inherent constitutional defects in Section 1324b via a regulation that runs directly contrary to it,” SpaceX said in an Oct. 25 filing. “Only Congress can amend the statute.”
The federal judge presiding over SpaceX’s counterclaim agreed.
“The [DOJ regulation] is unlawful, and the proceedings are unconstitutional because the Attorney General is not allowed to review the [administrative judges’] decisions,” said District Judge Rolando Olvera in his Wednesday decision.
The judge’s decision signals that the entire legal process for the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer.
Along with the legal issues, the case was already loaded in irony as soon as it was filed, as the DOJ itself advertises specifically for U.S. citizens—a fact that didn’t escape SpaceX owner Elon Musk.
DOJ needs to sue themselves! https://t.co/TuugrdtYut
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 26, 2023
It has also been revealed that the DOJ’s lead attorney suing SpaceX is none other than its Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Kristen Clarke, who was an avowed black supremacist while attending Harvard University.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.