Obama Appointed Activist Judge Blocks New Food Stamp Rules
An Obama appointed judge is taking advantage of the coronavirus panic to obstruct the Trump administration from her perch on the bench.
In a Friday ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell blocked new rules requiring that able-bodied adults with no children to work at least 20 hours a week in order to be eligible to leech off of the federal government.
Judge Howell, who also ordered the Justice Department to turn over a treasure trove of opposition research in the form of grand jury material from special counsel Robert Mueller’s witch hunt to Democrats, continues her pattern of judicial activism.
Howell who decried the new rules as being “likely unlawful because they are arbitrary and capricious” is the latest Obama appointee to undermine administration policy in what is an ongoing and disgraceful abuse of the courts for political means.
A federal judge has issued an injunction blocking the Trump administration from adopting a rule change that would force nearly 700,000 Americans off food stamps. https://t.co/DRWB78QA7u— NPR (@NPR) March 14, 2020
Via NPR, “Judge Blocks Rule That Would Have Kicked 700,000 People Off SNAP”:
A federal judge has issued an injunction blocking the Trump administration from adopting a rule change that would force nearly 700,000 Americans off food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The rule change was set to take effect April 1.
In a ruling issued Friday evening in Washington, D.C., U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell called the rule change capricious, arbitrary and likely unlawful.
The rule change would have required able-bodied adults without children to work at least 20 hours a week in order to qualify for SNAP benefits past three months. It would also have limited states’ usual ability to waive those requirements depending on economic conditions. The preliminary injunction will preserve that flexibility.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it was adopting the rule change in December, but critics have called on the department to suspend implementation, especially in light of the economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the department planned to move ahead with the rule.
While the rule applies to “able-bodied adults without dependents,” anti-hunger advocates note that category can include parents who don’t have primary custody of their kids, youths who have recently aged out of foster care and some low-income college students.
In her ruling, Howell cited concerns raised by the spread of coronavirus and its effect on the most vulnerable Americans. “Especially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential,” she wrote.
The robed activist’s intervention came shortly after the Trump administration made it clear that the new rules would go into effect regardless of the coronavirus.
Democrats and their allies in the courts are clearly looking to run out the clock with a flurry of rulings and injunctions designed to bog down the administration and hope that Joe Biden and his yet to be named running mate can defeat Trump this November.
This one is likely headed to the Supreme Court which will have the final say on the matter.