Earlier this week Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a merits brief on behalf of a majority coalition of states arguing against President Obama’s illegal immigration executive actions. Texas is now joined in lawsuit against the Obama administration by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. That means a majority of our nation, 26 states thus far, are standing in defiance of what they argue (and we agree) is the illegal and unconstitutional actions taken by the Obama administration on illegal immigration.
“The Obama Administration has consistently demonstrated disregard for the rule of law in asserting that it has the legal authority to unilaterally change the immigration policy of the United States,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Rewriting national immigration law requires the full and careful consideration of Congress, not the political will and assertion of one person. As the president himself said numerous times, he alone does not have the authority to grant millions of unauthorized aliens a host of benefits, including work authorization.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) has cheered his courageous Attorney General’s battle against the Obama administration, arguing that the Obama administration has overstepped their constitutional authority on this issue. After an initial court victory in April of last year, Governor Abbott chided Obama for his lawless executive actions.
“President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat, and Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the President’s overreach in its tracks.
We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the President’s attempt to by-pass the will of the American people was successfully checked today. The District Court’s ruling is very clear — it prevents the President from implementing the policies in ‘any and all aspects.’”
As Texas and it’s 25 partners gear up for oral arguments before the Supreme Court, it’s worth noting that they’ve already beaten the Obama administration several times in the lower courts.
Texas secured a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on November 9, 2015, after Solicitor General Scott Keller delivered oral arguments in July. It was the third time a federal court ruled in favor of the Texas-led coalition. Oral arguments before the Supreme Court will be April 18.
However, there is some reason to be concerned, especially in the wake of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, who was one of the most ardent defenders of federalism, the balance of powers, and a strict adherence to the powers explicitly outlined in the Constitution. The court’s more liberal (and even the moderates) tend to have a broader understanding of what “constitutional” powers mean. Which doesn’t bode well for the fight against the Obama administration.