ACLJ’s Sekulow: ‘Impatient Presidents Don’t Get to Change the Law’

Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The conservative American Center for Law & Justice says it will file a friend-of-the-court brief at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of lawmakers and Americans who argue President Obama’s executive amnesty is unconstitutional.

On Tuesday the high court agreed to hear the Obama administration’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling preventing implementation of the president’s executive amnesty programs — which would grant millions of illegal immigrants de facto legal status and work permits.

“This is a landmark case involving the separation of powers,” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, said in a statement. “Our position from the beginning has been very clear: President Obama is not a king and impatient presidents don’t get to change the law.”

As the case has worked its way through the courts ACLJ has represented 113 Members of Congress, filing legal briefs on behalf of 25 senators — lead by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — and 88 congressmen led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case, Goodlatte recalled that Obama himself said at least 22 times that he did not have the authority to change immigration laws himself.

“President Obama’s decision to ignore the limits placed on his power and act unilaterally to rewrite our nation’s immigration laws threatens the separation of powers and its checks and balances,” Goodlatte said. “So far, the federal courts have prevented President Obama’s executive actions from being implemented and I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will do the same.”

Sekulow added that ACLJ will again be representing lawmakers and “thousands of Americans in a brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the appeals court decision – and put a stop to the impermissible overreach that has been the hallmark of this president.”

Early last year Texas and 25 other states sued the Obama administration, challenging the legality of its the executive amnesty programs. So far the states have been successful in arguing the case in the lower courts. The Supreme Court will have the final say later this year.