Fifth Circuit Rules for Texas: Executive Amnesty ‘Unlawful’
Monday, November 9, 2015 – Austin, Texas
The Texas Attorney General’s Office today secured a major victory against the Obama Administration’s illegal attempt to unilaterally change national immigration law. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court decision halting the president’s executive amnesty plan, ruling in favor of the Texas-led coalition of 26 states. The Court ruled that the president has “no statutory authority” to take his unilateral action.
“Today, the Fifth Circuit asserted that the separation of powers remains the law of the land, and the president must follow the rule of law, just like everybody else,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “Throughout this process, the Obama Administration has aggressively disregarded the constitutional limits on executive power, and Texas, leading a charge of 26 states, has secured an important victory to put a halt to the president’s lawlessness.
“I commend Gov. Abbott for his leadership on this issue, as well as the talent and hard work of Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, who along with his team has so eloquently and expertly argued our case.”
Keller argued on behalf of the states in front of the Fifth Circuit on July 10. The 5th Circuit upheld the preliminary injunction granted by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on February 16. Texas Attorney General's Office lawyers who attended the arguments were First Assistant Chip Roy, Cam Barker, Alex Potapov, April Farris, and Angela Colmenero.
As President Obama said himself shortly after announcing the program, he “took an action to change the law,” when he signed the executive action on immigration. Texas has argued that any sweeping change in immigration policy should be up to lawmakers, not the unilateral action of the executive branch.
Texas leads a 26-state bipartisan coalition fighting the president’s attempt to unilaterally grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Joining Texas in the lawsuit are: 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.