THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

AG Paxton: The Abuse of Government Power Endangers Everyone

Monday, April 4, 2016 – Austin

Our lawsuit to stop President Obama’s illegal immigration policy is about a concept as old as the nation’s founding.  The issue is whether one person may determine what is best for the country or whether the people, through their elected representatives, choose for ourselves the laws under which we live.

Our Founders drafted the Constitution to make clear that the People, through their representatives in Congress, hold the authority to set immigration policy for the United States.  This is an enormous issue with far-reaching consequences for our national security and economy.  No president, however well-intentioned, has the power to override the will of the People as vested in our Constitution.  On April 18 — as part of a coalition of 26 states — we will take our argument against President Obama’s unlawful immigration program before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2010, President Obama affirmed our position, saying, “I am president.  I am not a king.  I can’t do these things just by myself.” We agree, and more importantly, the Constitution agrees.  However, by the time he signed his 2014 executive order, President Obama changed his mind, stating, “I just took an action to change the law.”

If such executive overreach were allowed to run unchecked, what would stop a president from deciding to issue an executive order effectively dissolving the rights of gun owners, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment?  Or peeling back other cherished Constitutionally-guaranteed protections of free speech or religious freedom?

As James Madison wrote, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”  James Madison warned against one person deciding for the entire nation what the law shall be.  It is the very essence of who we are as Americans.  The People, through their representatives, decide the law, not one person.

We are taking a stand against President Obama’s illegal power grab to assure that We the People keep our voice and to hold the President accountable to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Allowing President Obama’s actions to stand sends the message that any president is now the supreme authority in the nation, bestowing unchecked power to legislate from the Oval Office.  President Obama said, “The problem is that I’m the President of the United States.  I’m not the emperor of the United States.”  We should be thankful the President has this “problem.”

The solution to this problem is provided in the Constitution.  As the President also stated, “My job is to execute laws that are passed.”  Texas and the 26 state coalition is seeking to hold President Obama to his word and ensure the Constitution, not the desire of one person, reigns supreme.