(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) today filed a critical amicus brief representing 113 members of Congress – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – and nearly 220,000 Americans – urging a federal appeals court to declare President Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration unlawful and unconstitutional.
The amicus brief, filed today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, supports the lawsuit filed by 26 states – led by Texas – to challenge the president’s actions.
The ACLJ represents 113 Members of Congress – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a strong contingent of lawmakers from Texas. The brief was led by Texas’ U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, as well as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith. The ACLJ is deeply involved in the case and filed several briefs earlier that resulted in a lower court putting the illegal immigration plan on hold.
“Our position is clear – President Obama’s executive action is unconstitutional and impermissibly disrupts the separation of powers,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “We’re privileged to represent 113 members of Congress and nearly 220,000 Americans who understand President Obama’s overreach amounted to changing the law. That is simply unacceptable. Impatient presidents don’t get to change the law. We’re confident that the appeals court will correctly conclude that President Obama’s action is unlawful and unconstitutional and will uphold the findings of the district court.”
The brief, posted here, argues that President Obama’s lawless executive action on immigration violates the Constitution and the intent of Congress.
Further, the brief argues that the government also “exceeded the bounds of its prosecutorial discretion and abdicated its duty to faithfully execute the law.”
The brief notes that the president oversteps his authority by creating a new class-based program.
“The DHS directive creates a new class—the roughly 4 million parents of U.S. citizens (and lawful permanent residents) who are unlawfully in the United States—and grants members of the class deferred removal (among other benefits) if they meet the basic eligibility requirements. ROA.235. The government’s creation of a categorical, class-based program is neither moored in constitutional authority nor in authority delegated by a lawful statute passed by Congress.”
The brief urges the appeals court to affirm the district court and concludes that the president’s actions should not stand.
“The States are likely to succeed on the merits of their constitutional claim because the DHS directive violates the Constitution, impermissibly disrupts the separation of powers, and amounts to an abdication of the Executive’s constitutional and statutory duties. Appellants unconstitutionally legislated by creating a categorical, class-based program not supported by law or established congressional immigration policy.”
A total of 113 Members of Congress – 25 U.S. Senators and 88 members of the House – have signed on to the ACLJ amicus brief. The complete list of lawmakers represented in the amicus brief is here.
At the same time, the ACLJ also represents nearly 220,000 Americans who have signed on to the ACLJ’s Committee to Defend the Separation of Powers.
In December, Sekulow presented detailed testimony before the House Judiciary Committee explaining why the president’s action on immigration exceeded his executive authority.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law & Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
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