President Barack Obama invoked America’s Founding Fathers Thursday in criticizing a U.S. Supreme Court decision over actions he took that his opponents insist run contrary to the Founders’ vision for how government should operate.
The justices were split 4-4 on the case, thus leaving in place an appellate court ruling that Obama had gone beyond his presidential powers with his immigration initiative, which Republicans labeled “backdoor amnesty” for illegal immigrants.
“Our Founders conceived this country as refuge for the world,” Obama said Thursday. “Welcoming wave after wave of immigrants kept us youthful and dynamic and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character and it has made us stronger. But for more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken. And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”
However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton noted that the ruling was a victory for the system of separation of powers set up by America’s Founding Fathers.
“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: One person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law,” he said. “This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”
The case, United States v. Texas, came about when Texas challenged Obama’s executive order to allow as many as 5 million illegal immigrants to apply for a program that would give them work permits and protect them from being deported.
The immigration policy was among the many executive orders Obama has issued in an attempt to implement his policies when Congress will not go along. That trend has worried many Americans.
“The genius of the founding fathers was that they gave government enough power to function, but not too much — lest that power be abused. For the sake of the country, we must get back to American constitutionalism and not continue with this abuse of power,” Jerry Newcombe wrote in an op-ed on The Christian Post.