Challenging President Obama’s Unilateral Executive Action
SALT LAKE CITY Dec. 3, 2014 — Today, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes signed onto a multi-state lawsuit filed in Texas challenging President Obama’s unilateral executive action regarding deportation and illegal immigration. The lawsuit is based on a constitutional challenge to the President bypassing Congress and exceeding his executive authority. Secondarily, to the extent he had any rule making authority, the lawsuit addresses how he failed to comply with statutory requirements.
Attorney General Sean Reyes stated:
“This lawsuit is not about immigration policy. Whether you agree or disagree with some, all or none of the President’s proposal is not the point. The process is what is being challenged. The process is not legal. Regardless of how you feel about the policy, it does not justify implementation in an unconstitutional manner.
We need solutions from Congress. The President is not the only one frustrated by Congress’s impasse on this issue. But, when states like Utah attempted to address the issue through legislation, they did so with the belief that it was through a proper exercise of sovereign police and other powers and an understanding that the courts would check that power if not.
It was President Obama, through the Justice Department, who argued states were preempted from passing laws related to immigration because Congress had exclusive jurisdiction for enactment of such laws. Ironically, the President has now done the exact thing he claimed states were not permitted to do. As with the states, the President’s attempt at lawmaking should be reviewed by the courts.
While people of goodwill can debate the merits of his policy, even the President has acknowledged that he is not above the law and that his powers are limited by Congress’s exclusive authority in this area.
The President, regardless of political party, must respect the rule of law and a balance of powers. At the same time, Congress has not only the legal authority but also the responsibility to take up matters such as these no matter how difficult they may be.”
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