In the 2016 presidential election, repairing the damage that President Obama has done to our constitutional system deserves to be first and foremost among the issues at hand. The second issue: restoring the value of work (this requires jobs!).

The first issue got an assist this week from a federal judge in Pennsylvania who ruled that President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions are unconstitutional. The opinion comes from U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab, in Pennsylvania, a George W. Bush appointee, who, according to a Fox report, ruled Obama's immigration orders are invalid and are "legislation" from the Executive Branch.

A coalition of 17 states is suing President Obama and claiming that his executive order on immigration is unconstitutional. Judge Schwab was not ruling on this suit, or indeed on a case that specifically filed because of the Obama executive order. The opinion came in a suit involving a criminal  illegal immigrant Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, from Honduras, who returned to the U.S. after being deported in 2005.

Judge Schwab explored the impact the Obama executive order would have on Juarez-Escobar. In determining how the President’s order would apply to this case, Schwab deemed the parts of the president’s order unconstitutional.

Schwab wrote that the president’s actions go beyond prosecutorial “discretion” that the administration claims is its right in deciding not to take legal action against 5 million people here illegally. But Schwab went further than that:  

Further, he wrote that the action goes beyond deferring deportation by letting beneficiaries apply for work authorization and allowing some to become "quasi-United States citizens."

He also cited Obama's argument that he was proceeding with executive action after Congress failed to act on comprehensive immigration legislation, and countered: "Congressional inaction does not endow legislative power with the Executive." 

It is unclear that Schwab’s ruling, which is being dismissed by the president’s allies, will have an impact on the overall debate. But it is the first opinion by a federal judge on a unilateral presidential action that could drastically change the United States.

Meanwhile, in other post-Constitution news, USA Today has a report on how the president uses presidential memoranda in place of executive orders. The newspaper calls these “executive orders by another name.”

Repairing the damage wrought by a president who seeks to legislate without Congress is the first order of business for the next administration—unless of course, the next president wants to continue on our current path. This should be discussed in the 2016 campaign.