A coalition of seventeen states joined together today to file suit against the Obama administration, arguing that President Obama swept aside the constitutional limits on his power and violated his constitutional obligation to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” when he moved to unilateral dismiss enforcement of the immigration laws against 4 million illegal aliens.
“This lawsuit is not about immigration,” said the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. “It is about the rule of law, presidential power, and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution.”
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is the governor-elect of Texas, explained the states’ argument.
“The President’s unilateral executive action tramples the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause and federal law,” Abbott said in a statement. “The Constitution’s Take Care Clause limits the President’s power and ensures that he will faithfully execute Congress’s laws – not rewrite them under the guise of ‘prosecutorial discretion.’”
In the complaint itself, the states pointed out that Obama had admitted, in a speech in Chicago, that he had in fact changed the law.
“On November 20, 2014, the President of the United States announced that he would unilaterally suspend the immigration laws as applied to 4 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States,” says the complaint. The President candidly admitted that, in so doing, he unilaterally rewrote the law: ‘What you’re not paying attention to is, I just took an action to change the law.’”
The seventeen states joining in the suit are: Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, North Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Maine.
They are asking for the court to block the president’s action.