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Texas Petitions Supreme Court to Reject Obama's Appeal on Immigration Executive Action

First Posted: Dec 30, 2015 03:23 PM EST
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a brief on Tuesday urging the Supreme Court to uphold an injunction that has blocked President Barack Obama from implementing his executive orders on immigration.

Obama first announced his plan for an immigration overhaul -- that would protect up to five million undocumented residents from deportation -- back in November 2014. However, a coalition of Republican-led states, spearheaded by Texas, quickly filed a lawsuit to stop the president's executive action, arguing that it was an abuse of power.

Earlier this year, a lower court ruled in favor of the 26 states and blocked Obama from implementing any action. In turn, the White House filed an appeal against the injunction, asking the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court decision that has prohibited Obama from giving millions of undocumented immigrants legal status and work permits.

Now, the states are asking the High Court not to consider the Obama administration's plea to hear the case.

According to Paxton, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's ruling properly rejected the administration's "sweeping and unprecedented assertion of executive authority."

In a 53-page brief, Paxton argues that if the Obama administration's "arguments are accepted, there is nothing stopping this executive or future executives from invoking resource constraints to declare conduct lawful in other areas -- such as environmental, tax, criminal, campaign-finance, and civil-rights laws." The petition also states that the administration "urge[s] a view of executive power that is manifestly contrary to our separation of powers."

Paxton also issued a statement condemning Obama's executive action on immigration as "an unprecedented attempt to expand the power of the executive branch."

"Rewriting national immigration law requires the full and careful consideration of Congress, and Texas will continue to fight this affront to the rule of law," the attorney general added.

The Supreme Court could make a decision on whether to consider the case in its current term as early as January. If it agrees to hear the case, then the justices could announce a decision sometime this summer.

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