Texas’s Case Against Obama

The state’s lawsuit is about limiting presidential power, not thwarting immigration policy.

By Comments

AP Photo/Brownsville Herald, Brad Doherty

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in one of the most high-profile, controversial, and important cases of the year. At issue in United States v Texas is Barack Obama’s 2014 executive action on immigration, commonly known as DAPA, which would allow unauthorized immigrants who meet certain eligibility parameters to apply for relief from deportation. As it stands, the program is on hold after a federal district judge granted a preliminary injunction last February after a coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, filed a lawsuit seeking to block the president’s action from taking effect. Technically, the question before the Supreme Court is about the injunction, which was upheld by the Fifth Circuit in November, not DAPA itself. But Obama is already in the last months of his second term as president. In practice, then, United States v Texas will effectively determine whether DAPA survives. If the Supreme Court strikes down the injunction, several million immigrants would be eligible to apply for the legal protections Obama has proposed. If not, they’re out of luck.

It’s awkward, then, that United States v Texas has been so widely misconstrued. Many media reports have summarized the case by saying that it has to do with “Obama’s immigration policy.” That’s true, in a sense, but only because the president decided to implement his immigration policy via memo. “This case is about an unprecedented, sweeping assertion of Executive power,” writes Scott Keller, the Texas solicitor general, in the state’s brief to the Supreme Court. “This case is not about the wisdom of particular immigration policies; legislators have disagreed on whether immigration statutes should be amended.”

Some readers, no doubt, won’t take the Texas solicitor general’s words at face value. And it’s hard to dismiss any such suspicions out of hand; Keller happens to have studied under that master of maddeningly plausible deniability, the diabolical Ted Cruz. But several pieces of circumstantial evidence are consistent with his assertion that the state’s lawsuit is about Obama’s executive action, not his immigration policy.

1) Texas’s lawsuit is only concerned with DAPA, which was actually Obama’s second major executive action on immigration. The first was DACA, in 2012, which exempted from deportation certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as young children. The two executive actions are related, obviously. Among DAPA’s provisions, in fact, is an expansion of the eligibility parameters for DACA. This expansion, which is referred to as “DACA plus” or “Expanded DACA,” is laid out in Obama’s 2014 memo, and so it has not been implemented, because of the injunction of DAPA. It’s telling, then, that Texas’s lawsuit is specific to DAPA. Similarly telling is that the state didn’t sue the federal government to block DACA. If Texas’s objection was to Obama’s immigration policy, you’d have expected the state to have challenged both policies, not just DAPA.

2) Conversely, if the state’s objection is to executive action, the disjunct does make sense, due to a few practical differences in the initiatives as laid out in Obama’s memos. DAPA’s eligibility parameters are broader than DACA’s; its impact on the states, for good or for ill, would be larger. And Obama’s 2014 memo, establishing DAPA, explicitly says that immigrants approved for deportation relief would have a “lawful presence” in the country, albeit on a temporary basis. Texas’s suit against DAPA focuses on the implications of that phrase, and the Fifth Circuit, in upholding the injunction, agreed that it has “significant legal consequences.” The Obama administration’s brief to the Supreme Court is somewhat dismissive of Texas’s argument that the costs of issuing driver’s licenses to the immigrants thereby eligible to apply would add up. And to the United States solicitor general’s point, the fees Texans might pay for a driver’s license pale in comparison to the humanitarian costs our society incurs as a result of having millions of unauthorized immigrants living in the shadows. Still, it is true that DAPA’s explicit guarantees—and, by extension, the executive action’s practical implications for the states—are broader than those laid out in DACA.

3) Imagine how often Texas would sue Obama over his policy agenda, if a state could sue over a president’s policy agenda.

I occasionally encounter Democrats who seem to think that “executive overreach” is a euphemism, which conservatives have embraced rather than being honest about their desire to see Obama thwarted at every turn, regardless of what he’s trying to accomplish. Though I have no hope of convincing them on this point, I think that’s in part because Obama has encouraged the impression that such criticism is ideologically motivated. In 2014, when he announced DAPA, he described it as a “commonsense, middleground approach,” that would result in the type of reforms that most Americans would support, and which he was compelled to pursue via executive action as a result Congress’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform in 2013. He also asserted that the action was lawful, and issued a pre-emptive challenge to anyone who might disagree: “To those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

Americans who share his goals might have been heartened by Obama’s determination to effect legislative change. That doesn’t have the slightest bearing on whether his efforts to do so, in this case, were constitutionally kosher. That being the case, it’s frankly somewhat invidious that the president and his supporters keep casting his decision to take executive action on immigration as something he was compelled to do by moral necessity. Perhaps he felt a genuine moral imperative to act. Perhaps his successor as president will have such feelings too. And perhaps that successor will be Donald Trump. Are we really prepared to accept Obama’s implicit argument that the constitutional separation of powers may be suspended if Congress is being ornery and uncooperative? I’m not. I find it reassuring, these days, knowing that Congress is capable of obstruction.

In any case, United States v Texas won’t settle all questions about the limits of a president’s power. A ruling in favor of Texas, or a 4-4 tie, seems like the likeliest outcome to me, but that would only mean that the preliminary injunction stands; it wouldn’t be a ruling about whether DAPA itself was unconstitutional. And such a ruling would be a blow to the millions of immigrants who would have been eligible for the legal protections Obama sought to extend to them. But it wouldn’t be a repudiation of the arguments that Democrats are making on their behalf, and which a majority of Americans are sympathetic too. So I hope we can all keep this case in perspective and perhaps, even, appreciate the silver lining: a ruling in Texas’s favor would also be a timely and reassuring reminder that there are constraints any president must observe, and recourse for the people in the event that he forgets.

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  • Rules of Blazon

    This is but the latest in a series of politically-motivated lawsuits brought by Texas Republicans against a Democratic president. These won’t stop when Hillary wins. They’ll stop when we get rid of Jade Helm Greg in 2018.

    Whatever they cost Texas in terms of raw dollars pales in comparison to what they cost our brand – our good name. We’re lucky that North Carolina is hogging the bass-ackwards spotlight at the moment. I imagine we’ll be back in it before long, as Cruz will need something to do after he loses the primary.

    Nobody seriously believes that these Republican lawsuits are brought for good-faith reasons, and nobody should. Texas Republicans have no more interest in demarcating the limits of executive power for the public good than they do in governing. After all, how many of these lawsuits did these very same Texas Republicans file when Bush was president? They suddenly become interested in the “constitutionally kosher” only as soon as Bush leaves?

    “United States v. Texas.” An unfortunate caption, indeed, if only because it’s so misleading. “United States v. Texas Republicans” is more accurate – and it leaves no doubt as to who should win, on any plausible legal or moral ground.

    • WUSRPH

      The lawsuits were not, as you noted, brought for good faith reasons…but I almost agree with Erica that the question of the extent of presidential powers needs to be addressed. The GOP’s decision not to legislate during the Obama presidency—and to block him from getting any major legislation thru—has encouraged the idea that the president must act when the Congress fails to do so.

      While I am sympathetic to what the President attempted to do, I have had doubts about the breadth of his action. As the House of Representatives’ lawyer said on Monday, there is little doubt that the President could have stayed the deportations by making a priority determination, the other parts of the program—work permits, etc.—appear to be changes in the law. This, I am afraid, is the Congress’ job…..and even if it refuses to do its part in the process, I wonder if it is wise to, in effect, give that power to the president.

      Future presidents—a Cruz or a Trump, for example, might not use the power for as worthy of an end as Obama did. It is unfortunate that because of the lack of a ninth justice, this point may be left unsettled before either of them has a real chance to take office. I doubt whether the State of Texas would be as willing to bring an action against some action by either of them that went beyond the limits on presidential power…..After all, if they did it, it would be for the “public good”. (sic).

      • Rules of Blazon

        The question of the extent of presidential powers does not need to be – and really should not be – addressed in the context of a lawsuit against Obama brought for bad-faith reasons by Texas Republican politicians. And I say this not as a partisan Democrat. Just as bad facts make bad law, goofy people filing lawsuits for jacked-up reasons generally don’t result in well-reasoned precedential opinions that become cornerstones of constitutional jurisprudence.

        Here are your RI and DE predictions (the Notorious R of B will have to do in light of 538’s silence):

        Clinton and Trump crush it in both RI and DE. Cruz comes in behind Kasich in both states.

        • WUSRPH

          I agree on RI and Del…but not on whether the question of presidential authority needs to be addressed. The intent or worth of the plaintiffs should not be a determinate of whether a court should consider the case. The recent very bad intended case challenging the way we redistrict was a clear example of a bad-faith plaintiff that resulted in a fairly good decision.

          • Jed

            ultimately, if presidential power is to be curbed, it will need to be be done by congress actually taking its own action(s) in any or all of the areas where obama is operating by fiat.

            as long as they are inactive in those areas, the supreme court can’t possibly keep up with al the executive orders. he issue ’em faster than they can strike them down.

            this is a 225 year old problem, obama is just the one sitting in the chair at the moment.

          • WUSRPH

            It would be nice if the Congress did its job…but it has refused to do so as long as the GOP has been in control under Obama. However, does that justify the President stretching the Constitution? What I really fear is that the court will extend the coverage of standing to sue so far that nothing can be done by either the Congress or the President without a law suit to block it. This court went pretty far toward undermining the Commerce Clause with the first ACA case…and we saw what it did to the First Amendment with Citizens United….And Scalia and Thomas (and Roberts) all claimed that they don’t make law from the bench.

          • Jed

            the problem between president and congress is not once that just arose in the past 8 years. it has been a continuous dynamic ever since the formation of the constitution.

            to refer to overreach by obama specifically is to feed the right-wing talking machine. i expect that from erica. (since she *is* the right-wing talking machine). i am more disappointed when i see it from you. you should know better.

          • WUSRPH

            I fully agree…..presidential (and congressional) overreach is far, far from a new problem. Balancing checks and balances and the separation of powers has been a constant struggle in American politics. That, however, does not mean that we can overlook it if President Obama does it simply because it feeds the twisted minds of the likes of the Troll to criticize the current president. Bush did it. Lincoln did it. Nixon certainly did. Both of the Roosevelts probably did it several times. Congress has done it as well by passing laws that limit the President’s constitutional powers. This case gives us some small chance of better defining how far a president can go…..We also need one on how far the Congress can go….but that is not the issue here.

          • Jed

            this case will give us nothing but a 4-4 split.

        • Realist50

          Well then who do you think should sue, and what should be the case? It’s frequently difficult to find a party with standing to challenge an executive order, especially if the order is a blanket decision not to enforce an aspect of federal law (as with DAPA). In those cases, the avenue for a court challenge is typically going to be a group of states who oppose a policy for political reasons and can find an impact that gives them standing.

          If DAPA passes constitutional muster, I don’t see why a president couldn’t also unilaterally lower tax rates (by instructing the IRS not to collect taxes above a lower rate) or loosen environmental laws (by instructing the EPA not to enforce certain laws). And both of those would also obviously be problematic because they aren’t consistent with the constitutional structure of the U.S. government.

          The expansion of executive power has been an ongoing issue for quite a long time under presidents of both parties, as has been the related issue of how much policy is set by administrative agency rule-making. I’m not sold on just saying that the “ends justify the means”, so I’m glad to see the Supreme Court decide to take cases like this one.

          • Rules of Blazon

            Why should anyone even bother suing in this instance? Obama’s executive action yielded a good (if limited) result in the face of deliberate Republican inaction. And I don’t see Obama’s executive action setting any sort of precedent, making your slippery slope argument inapposite.

            And if someone is going to sue, you really think it should be a vexatious litigant like Jade Helm Greg? (Judges be like “seriously, this ish again…”)

          • WUSRPH

            I am not so sure that Obama’s action did not set or extend precedents….I am particularly concerned by a passing mention that his action gave them legal status in the US. To me that is a change in the law….And that is the real question—i.e.—can a president in effect MAKE LAW when the Congress has not in apparent violation of the separation of powers? It may seem technical and insignificant to you, but it could undermine the entire structure of our government.

            In addition, you seem to be saying that an action that has a good effect is okay no matter whether the act itself was wrongly done. That is certainly the slippery slope you said is not involved here.

          • Jed

            “If DAPA passes constitutional muster, I don’t see why a president couldn’t also unilaterally lower tax rates (by instructing the IRS not to collect taxes above a lower rate) or loosen environmental laws (by instructing the EPA not to enforce certain laws). And both of those would also obviously be problematic because they aren’t consistent with the constitutional structure of the U.S. government.”

            circular logic is circular. the epa makes prioritizing decisions all the time. as, i expect, does the irs.

          • WUSRPH

            But the question here is not as much as “priority” decision as a “making law” one. Even the attorney for the US House of Representatives indicated that the priority decision was not the main case here.

          • Jed

            that may be the issue as understood by the constitutional geniuses in the house of representatives.

            i was merely responding to the comment above.

          • WUSRPH

            I doubt the “constitutional geniuses” in the US House enjoyed making that concession….but there were just too many court rulings against any other position for them to argue it.

            As to the suggestion, above, that a president could order changes in the law by executive order….I suspect he had a whole lot of that in the last 20 years or so….especially during GW Bush’s Administration with the all-time record number of “signing statements” on laws he issued. Not the same as an executive order, but just as likely to change the way a law is interpreted.

          • Jed

            bush famously issued a “signing statement” on a law banning torture that said he reserved the right to torture. talk about executive overreach.

            i’m not sure why you keep calling the house position a “concession.” you make it sound like they are making a weaker claim than they could, so we should take this claim seriously or something. but this is only claim they can make. doesn’t make it correct, just their only option. they have two possible avenues to argue, one of them is a complete non-starter, so they go with the other one. that’s not a concession, nor is it any indication of the position’s correctness. it’s just the only strategy available. not a winning one, because they don’t have a case nor do they have a court, but still a strategy nonetheless.

            i continue to take the position that if congress has a problem with the way the president is (or isn’t) executing laws, they should pass laws specifically designed to address/preempt each instance. if they can’t manage to do that, they aren’t doing their part of the “checks and balances.”

          • WUSRPH

            Of course it would be best if the Congress acted by passing laws…..But it did not…It took the alternate route of challenging him in the courts. If it had passed laws specifically repealing his actions it would have suggested that there was a possible basis to an argument that what the President did was legal. This meant that it did not directly attack the fruit of his legal wrong (if you assume that to be the case)—the “new rights” given to some illegal aliens–but went straight at the root by challenging his authority to do it in the first place.
            I am in the unusual position of totaling approving of that fruit while having strong doubts about the way it was grafted onto the law by the use of presidential powers. In short, I like what he did, but not how he did it.

        • WUSRPH

          Actually quite a few cases brought for less than good policy reasons have set important precedents–starting with Marbury v. Madison which was brought by a guy who supposedly wanted a job and was intended to embarrass the Jefferson Administration.

    • pwt7925

      As I’ve told friends who are complaining that the lawsuits against Ken Paxton are brought in bad faith and politically motivated, the fact that the motivations might be impure doesn’t mean that the questions are invalid or that they aren’t ripe for judicial review. And I have no doubt whatsoever that if a President Trump (God help us) starts churning out his own envelope-pushing executive orders, then the ambitious and politically driven AGs who are democrats will look to Texas and similar states as a template for challenging federal action. I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t sorry that they didn’t think of this themselves when Bush was President. The AGs of New York and Connecticut, from what I read, are as rabidly political as any AGs in the country.

      • Rules of Blazon

        Looks like you need to make some new friends

        • pwt7925

          I don’t limit my friendships to those who agree with me on politics. Doing so closes the mind, is boring and is limiting. You should try branching out.

          • Rules of Blazon

            I’m different from almost all my friends and neighbors politically and in just about every other way you could imagine. Of all the things I prolly need to do, “branching out” in the way you suggest ain’t one.

            But I draw the line at willful ignorance. If someone keeps insisting that Paxton getting prosecuted for a crime he confessed to – in writing – is “politically motivated,” ain’t nobody got time for them.

            Also, Daily Kos sucks now that Bernie people have overrun it.

    • Erica Grieder

      Have you not heard of Medellin v Texas or are you omitting it because it doesn’t fit with your preferred narrative?

      • WUSRPH

        You make a good point about bias….but you have to admit there has been more of it since Abbott became AG. (“The first thing I do when I get to the office…”) Does that mean there has been more presidential overreach or does it mean that there is more politics involved in deciding when and who to sue…or both? I think it is more because of politics, myself.

        • Erica Grieder

          I’ve actually never crunched the numbers on that. Abbott was elected AG in 2002, so he had 6 years’ worth of suing Bush and Obama each, although Cruz’s time as solicitor general (2003-2009) didn’t overlap Obama’s presidency, except maybe for a few months. That’d be an interesting comparison, although as you say, the numbers themselves wouldn’t be conclusive as far as the cause of the disjunct. (Abbott’s *rhetoric* about suing the federal government certainly picked up after Obama became president, but so it would.)

          • Charlie Adaway

            “Abbott’s *rhetoric* about suing the federal government certainly picked up after Obama became president, but so it would.)”
            Erica there is a pattern with the left so why don’t we acknowledge it. If a lawyer/black/female/educator/journalist/etc isn’t a democrat and they are well spoken and intelligent the left targets them.

      • Rules of Blazon

        For the record, my preferred narrative is that Jade Helm Greg and Fountain Pen Ken should stop filling lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit against Obama (and, starting next year, against Hillary) because everyone knows exactly why they’re doing it — and it’s not because they care about clarifying the constitutional limits of executive power for the benefit of the public. Accordingly, their serial bad-faith lawsuits make Texas look bad.

        And what does Medellin v. Texas have to do with anything? Jade Helm Greg wasn’t suing Bush in that case. When did he ever haul off and sue Bush?

        • WUSRPH

          Medellin v. Texas has as much to do with suing President Bush as any of the suits against veracious federal agencies filed while President Obama has been in office have in suing Obama. In all the cases, the suits challenge some federal policy or regulation….None are directly filed against the President, as such, whether it be Bush or Obama. However, I think the point you are trying to make is that Texas seemed to discover a particular need to sue the federal govt. soon after Jan. 20, 2009, that it did not seem to have prior to that date. If that is your point….I am in full agreement that most of the cases filed thereafter were filed for political reasons…and were legally questionable…as suggested by how many of them were lost are later abandoned.

          • Rules of Blazon

            No it don’t. Medellin v. Texas was a habeas case. The “Texas” wasn’t Jade Helm Greg, it was the State as prosecution, and the “Medellin” was a criminal.

            Any way you slice it, it wasn’t Jade Helm Greg suing Bush or his agencies.

            Basta ya with the lawyerball. It bores me, tbh.

          • Erica Grieder

            Medellin was a separation of powers case. To be more specific, Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz, who served under Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, successfully argued that Texas didn’t have to comply with an order issued by the president, George W. Bush, because he had issued the order in reference to an international court ruling that the United States was signatory to but which Congress had never executed. But yeah, I can see why a correct summary of the argument doesn’t suit your preferred narrative.

          • Rules of Blazon

            MORE lawyerball? You cold. Stone cold.

            Medellin raped and killed two young girls. We caught him (yes!) and were likely gonna convict and punish him under Texas law. Not looking good for Medellin.

            But it turns out he was from Mexico. So he says “sorry Texas, you gotta let me go back home to be tried. There’s this treaty…”

            You see where this is going. Jade Helm Greg sends in Muslim Patrol Ted to make sure Texas gets to punish this murdering rapist.

            So, with Medellin v Texas, you’ve got the usual Republican actors grandstanding and looking for headlines. But the case is nothing like the US v TX (GOP) case in your blog. Not even close.

          • Erica Grieder

            You can characterize the case however you choose to; however, you’re incorrectly characterizing the case that Cruz made, which was sufficiently plausible to the law nerds at SCOTUS that the result was a 6-3 ruling in Texas’s favor.

          • Rules of Blazon

            Know what happened to Jose Medellin? Muslim Patrol Ted won the case, just like you say, and we executed him. Killed him dead. Justice, Texas style. No wimpy softy federales back in ol’ Mexico for Jose, no siree – we caught him, we tried him, we fried him.

            And Muslim Patrol Ted, he is very, very proud of that. Next time you see him, ask him (on the record) what his greatest legal achievement was. If he doesn’t mention Medellin, I owe you a case of Dos Equis.

          • Erica Grieder

            None of that has any bearing on what Cruz’s legal argument was, of course.

            Nor is it a particularly effective effort to turn the focus to “Muslim Patrol Ted” and his crimes against enlightened thinking, whatever they may be. Just for reference, though: would you prefer to soapbox about the plight of unauthorized immigrants, or the plight of a Mexican national who had been living in the United States since age 2 and tried to get away with murder by arguing, essentially, that the Texas criminal justice system had violated his rights by treating him as any American citizen would have been treated?

            “Within three hours of his arrest, Medellin admitted his role in the gruesome murders, appalling authorities with his boastful, callous description of the night’s events.

            At issue in Medellin’s last-minute appeal was his assertion that authorities refused his right to contact the Mexican Consulate after his arrest. By doing so, his attorneys argued, officials violated a 1963 treaty signed by the U.S. and 165 other countries that should have granted him access. His case stirred international controversy when the United Nations’ high court found his rights had been violated. The court ordered the execution be stayed.”

            http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Medellin-executed-for-rape-murder-of-Houston-1770696.php

          • Rules of Blazon

            See why you can’t really lump this case together with US v TX (GOP)? Give me that, at least, and we’ll shake hands and call the lawyerball game a draw.

  • Texas Publius

    Nice timing to drop this piece on Obama the morning after Texas’ most visible politician (your boy Cruz) got exactly 0 (that’s a zero) out of 95 delegates in the state of New York. The state has 20,000,000 people and only 124,000 voted for your boy. It seems in NY one could get more than 124,000 votes by sheer accident!

    And more last-place finishes to come next week for Cruz. He’s uniting the Republican Party I tell ya!

  • Charlie Adaway

    It is called over reach and dems always over reach.

  • WUSRPH

    Wait…wait..wait…Here comes the complaints about “how ugly” the new $20 bill is going to be and why do we need to change.

    • Rules of Blazon

      I am framing me a new 20 as soon as I get my hands on one. Been waiting a lifetime to see something as beautiful as this.

    • Charlie Adaway

      If liberals would put as much time into productive work as they do whining we would have whirled peas.

    • John Johnson

      Start your own blog; quit hijacking this one. You and Charlie have turned Burkablog into your own personal off topic billboard.

    • Charlie Adaway

      A black republican woman has replaced a white democrat male on the $20 bill. Does that bother you?

      • John Johnson

        In my mind, it has nothing to do with anything other than pandering to those who make up about 19% of our total population. Instead of finding a new way to acknowledge blacks for contributions to our country, we choose to eradicate one who had considerably more influence than this woman…in my opinion. I’m sure Jackson’s ancestors are not happy. I’m not either.

        • WUSRPH

          How about the possibility that it is overdue recognition of the role that women (and black women) have played in our history…….especially in this case one of the bravest of the people who fought to end slavery?

          You apparently missed the part about now various scenes of women of importance in our history will be featured on the backs of the other currency…But I guess that is “pandering” to those who make up more than 50 percent of our population. BYW Jackson is not being taken off the note…He will still appear on the backside.

          P.S. I doubt that Jackson’s descendants (which is what you had to mean since his ancestors lived before him and not afterwards) care that much since there are none. He had no direct descendants. At best he could have today is great-great-great nieces and nephews and fifth and sixth cousins…Hardly close family.

  • John Johnson

    Erica, couldn’t you have just said that the Texas suit calls for Obama to enforce laws already on the books, as opposed to using executive orders to override them?

    • WUSRPH

      Because the lawsuit does not raise the question of not enforcing current laws…Instead, it questions his use of executive orders to create what it claims is NEW laws that grant rights to illegals with children to work permits, etc. They do not raise any “failures”—by which I presume you mean not actively deporting these people–because even the US House of Representatives’ lawyer admitted that the president has the power to set priorities on prosecutions—which includes deportation orders–which is all that Obama’s orders did.

      • John Johnson

        If the laws say it is illegal to enter the U.S. without permission, under any circumstances, are you saying that the same laws do not outline how deportation should be determined? If not, now stupid is that?

        If fed laws are not being enforced by the fed’s, and their inaction causes undue pressure and added expense to those states suffering from the added expense of supporting the influx, are the states not right in seeking remuneration from the fed’s…are they not entitled to take matters into their own hands?

        • WUSRPH

          As simple as I can with full knowledge that some nuances are being ignored:

          No. The laws on deportation were not changed. Only the priority given to cases involving illegals who are the parents of US citizens. They are still subject to deportation….but actions against them will be the last priority in deportation matters. That is a mater of “prosecutorial discretion” fully recognized in law.

          No. The States do not have a RIGHT to be reimbursed. They are part and parcel of the US and, as such, can be expected to share in the cost of national policies. It is not like when you neighbor does something that costs you. States can ask to be reimbursed and, if the Congress so decides, may be. But they have no legal right to it.

          No, states are “not entitled to take matters into their own hands” if by that you mean taking some action to thwart a federal policy other than by challenging it in the courts. They are entitled to take legal action to challenge policies that may unduly affect them or that may violate the 10th Amendment….but that is action only thru the legal system. They have no legal right to control immigration. That power is specifically limited to the federal government by the Constitution. Nullification and interposition are unconstitutional.

          • John Johnson

            Hahaha. Pull the hook out of your lip. Months ago, I shared the analogy of the fed’s controlling the fire department and their not responding to a homeowner fire as the law prescribed. When the homeowner (Texas) picks up their own hose and attempts to do the job that the fed’s were supposed to be doing, they are not prevented from doing so, but they are not going to reimbursed either.

          • WUSRPH

            You keep talking about laws not being enforced.
            Show me what laws the feds are not enforcing “as the law prescribed”. Is the govt. not deporting people who are here illegally? Is it not catching many at the borders? Does immigration not conduct raids on business’ hiring illegals?

            It may not be catching all…It may not be deporting all as fast as you want…But the law does not expect that all can be done immediately. That is why it has to set priorities to work with the funds and resources available.

            Those resources have been more than tripled over the past few years….which suggests someone is trying.

            So, what it works out to is that you do not like the speed at which things are being done….but you cannot really say that the law is not being enforced.
            The question may be he adequacy of the job being done….but, if you have complaints about that, address them to the Congress which has not provided the necessary resources, not at the Administration.

    • Erica Grieder

      Technically, yes, I could have. But that would have been an inaccurate characterization of what the suit actually says, so I wouldn’t have.

      • John Johnson

        Hahaha.

      • Charlie Adaway

        yep….

  • Rules of Blazon

    Jade Helm Greg is now trashing the SCOTUS as “political” – while insisting it’s still gonna do what he wants.

    What an asshole.

    http://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/Abbott-calls-U-S-Chief-Justice-Roberts-Court-a-7287515.php?cmpid=twitter-desktop

    • WUSRPH

      That is all part of his anti-constitution, pro-articles of confederation program….but I do give him credit for at least arguing that the constitution needs to be amended by this proposed new constitutional convention to make it do what he wants…..That is totally contrary to Cruz who appears to think all that needs to be done is to read the constitution the way he does—-contrary to as much as 213 years of precedence…..

  • WUSRPH

    Speaking of executive, legislative or judicial “overreach”…..

    Today in Austin he had a good example of a court declining to overreach its authority even thou the cause was good. As you may have heard, the 3rd Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit challenging the fact that the Legislature cut the funding for handicapped kids by over $350 million (all while I granting over $4 billion in tax relief)…..The trial court had issued an injunction against the state making the cuts, but the appeal court found that there was no legal basis for the challenge. The facts were the Legislature had the power to make the cuts. It did…For it to be sued there would have to have been something illegal or unconstitutional in it doing so. Absent that, the court had no power to order spending of money that was not appropriated or to order the Legislature to appropriate it. There wasn’t. So no law suit.

    It is a shame that thousands of children will suffer…It is also a disgrace that when the suit was first filed so many legislators said that was not what they intended and complained that the agency was not supposed to do just what it had been told to do….This is one of those cases where it would have been nice for the courts or the governor or someone to be able to have “fixed” the problem by some order, but the constitution stood in the way. Whether that was the also the case with President Obama’s immigration orders is to be seen.

  • Charlie Adaway

    Dem flunkies love to preach to us, often wrong headed, often condescending but never doubting they have all the answers.
    This is an example of over reach:
    “In a move called “unprecedented” by the Richmond-Times Dispatch, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a sweeping order that grants 206,000 convicted felons voting rights just months before the presidential election.”
    you’re supposed to lose “certain rights” when you’re a convicted felon, not be awarded.
    “McAuliffe’s order extends to non-violent and violent felons, including convicted murderers and rapists, an expert told the New York Times.”
    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/04/22/clinton-friend-virginia-gov-terry-mcauliffe-restores-voting-rights-for-206000-felons-including-convicted-murderers/

    Are you so stupid you believe violent felons are victims?

    • WUSRPH

      Go read the Texas Election Code…they have the right to vote here, too…

      • Charlie Adaway

        Don’t have to I know what it says. In Texas a felon can vote after completing term of incarceration, parole or probation same as Virginia.
        “In a move called “unprecedented” by the Richmond-Times Dispatch, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a sweeping order that grants 206,000 convicted felons voting rights just months before the presidential election.”
        you’re supposed to lose “certain rights” when you’re a convicted felon, not be awarded.”
        McAuliffe used executive fiat to change our laws, its a dem thing.

        It isn’t a badge of honor to be a convicted felon, impeached or under investigation by the FBI.
        It is also not a crime to be falsely indicted by democrats.
        If one has principles like Cruz you get it, if one is a 47%er you probably won’t.

        • Gritsforbreakfast

          So is it really “unprecedented” if Texas has the same law?

          • Charlie Adaway

            They had the same law, McAuliffe used his executive powers to issue an order to change it. That was what was unprecedented. It is the new way of governing for dems, don’t like the law legislate from the executive office. That is known as over reach.

  • Paul Raymond

    Tired of federal government overreach? Abbot has backed the Convention of States Project. We are moving to get an amendments convention to amend the Constitution to rein in the power of the federal government. We have fully gotten it through 6 states so far. Go to http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=1858 to learn more.

    • Charlie Adaway

      #1 problem in America a bloated federal government.
      Time to downsize the fed.

  • Uncle Enzo

    While this is a well written article, it strikes me that you perhaps did not reach out to immigration lawyers in writing it. The President’s power within the immigration framework is idiosyncratic and differs from nearly every other context, and is historically quite broad. This is particularly true with respect to undocumented persons. But the more important point, whatever the outcome of this case, is that a decision made in an immigration case such as this one would never be cited by judges (or decent lawyers) to expand executive authority in other fields. It would not cause a widespread breach in separation of powers. It would simply exist in its sphere of immigration. If you want to limit that power, that’s fine, but it’s borderline fear-mongering to suggest that it would grant a President ever greater dictatorial powers.