Texas Governor Greg Abbott said this week he believes the Texas court’s decision blocking enforcement of President Barack Obama’s executive order concerning immigration amnesty will stand up on appeal when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case. Abbott, a native of Wichita Falls, Texas, further said, “It is abundantly clear that the Obama administration has violated the Administrative Procedure Act. And on that issue alone we will win all the way up through the appellate ranks. That ruling will be held up on appeal.”
Abbott is no stranger to success at the appellate level as he has successfully argued cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court during his extraordinary career as Texas Attorney General. Only a few hours after President Obama issued his executive order granting amnesty to millions of immigrants illegally in this country last fall, then Attorney General Abbott fired a shot across the president’s bow promising to challenge the action in court.
At the time, Abbott accused Obama of “eroding the very foundation of our nation’s Constitution and bestowing a legacy of lawlessness.” This past Monday U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen came down on Abbott’s side in this hard-fought case. Hanen blocked the order which stopped the deportation of an estimated 4.1 million undocumented aliens.
The Obama Administration conceded temporarily the next day on Tuesday saying it would delay implementing the executive order only one day before it was scheduled to go into effect. Even the liberal leaning MSNBC which is no fan of Abbott’s, proclaimed the ruling represents “a major victory for Abbott.”
While new Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is now handling the case which he inherited from Abbott, it is clear the governor is the motivating force behind the landmark lawsuit. It was Abbott who acted swiftly in the wake of the president’s executive order and organized a coalition of 16 states to challenge the controversial immigration executive order. That number has now swollen to 26 states.
The contrast in philosophies between the two men is illustrated by the fact Abbott has sued Obama and the federal government a minimum of 30 times. One of Abbott’s most memorable victories was convincing the U.S. Supreme Court that Texans had the right to keep a monument of the Ten Commandments on the Capitol Grounds in Austin.
One of Abbott’s comments during his victorious campaign for governor in 2014 was, “I go into the office in the morning, I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home.”
Following Judge Hanen’s decision this week, Abbott said, “President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat, and Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the President’s overreach in its tracks. We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the President’s attempt to bypass the will of the American people was successfully checked today.”
Fresh off his victory over the President, Abbott will meet Obama in the White House on Sunday for dinner, according to Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chasse. Abbott will be joined at the dinner by other governors inside the Beltway for the National Governors Association’s Winter Meeting.
Abbott will end this busy week in Washington D.C. on Sunday when he appears on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Abbott and Obama have clashed over the issue of federal support or lack thereof for securing the Texas border with Mexico. Abbott promised in his recent State of the State address that Texas would allocate more funds for border security to make up for the lack of federal support.
It will be interesting to see what happens at the White House soiree.