CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a coalition of 16 other states in a lawsuit challenging the Obama Administration’s decision to suspend the nation’s immigration laws.
The lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, says the President’s unilateral actions regarding illegal immigration represent an unchecked expansion of executive authority and threaten the constitutional balance of power.
“We joined this lawsuit to stand up once again with other state attorneys general and governors against an out-of-control executive branch that seeks to cherry-pick which laws it will enforce, which it will ignore, and which it will change,” Morrisey said in a press release “Our nation cannot triumph if our Constitution is disregarded and the rule of law is ignored.”
Morrisey said Obama’s immigration edict is just the latest in a series of actions in which the executive branch has opted to ignore laws passed by Congress.
“Whether it is ignoring sections of the Clean Air Act in order to promote a partisan agenda and put coal jobs at risk, disregarding sections of the Affordable Care Act to preserve public support of a bad law, or making our borders weaker, this President and his administration are playing fast and loose with Americans’ lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness," Morrisey said. "In times like this, it is imperative that states stand together and defend the rule of law.”
The lawsuit does not focus on what the nation’s immigration policy should be. Rather it alleges the Obama Administration violated its obligations under the Constitution’s Take Care Clause, as well as the Administrative Procedure Act and federal immigration statutes. If these laws should be changed, those alterations should be made by Congress, not the President.
“The President is not above the law, and I am pleased to be one of 17 states to protect the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the Constitution,” Morrisey said. “While immigration may not dominate the headlines in West Virginia, it is important for our state to support those where it is a key concern because we are all impacted by a President who feels he is above the law.”
West Virginia joined the Texas lawsuit with attorneys general and/or governors of Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin.