The Woodlands, November 9 – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told the Woodlands Republican Women on November 8, 2017, in reference to the Obama administration’s efforts to expand federal power, “We’re in a war against the president having the power to rewrite the law.” Paxton described several cases his office handled in which Paxton, as the top legal officer of the State of Texas, challenged President B. Hussein Obama’s efforts to usurp Congress and create law through executive orders.
“Every one of these cases involved whether the president has the authority to rewrite the law. It’s a separation of powers issue. The Founding Fathers of this country had a King. They didn’t want a King, so they divided government. They left a lot of power in the states as part of our federal system of government,” Paxton told the capacity crowd of Republican activists, citizens, and a smattering of public servants and candidates for elected public servant.
Under Paxton’s leadership, the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, sued the United States Environmental Protection Agency twelve times in cases where regulations would harm businesses and jobs without improving air or other environmental quality. Paxton noted that President Trump rescinded most of Obama’s rogue executive orders while those cases were pending before the United States Supreme Court.
The Attorney General told the audience that Obama had asked Congress to change federal immigration laws to liberalize them. When the Congress declined to do so, Obama acted by executive order without authority. Paxton’s challenge to those Obama actions resulted in a major victory for Paxton in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit which ruled that Obama did not have such power under the Constitution. When the Supreme Court voted four to four on the appeal from the Court of Appeals, the State of Texas ultimately won the lawsuit and handed a major defeat to Obama. “It’s pretty frightening, however, that four Supreme Court Justices believe that it’s alright for the president to change the law on his own,” Paxton added.
As for the legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order, Paxton noted that forty-four (44) times previously, presidents have issued travel bans by executive order but no one had ever sued to challenge those bans. Only when President Trump issued a travel ban did liberals file legal challenges to the Trump administration’s efforts to protect American borders.
Paxton told the group about ongoing litigation to challenge Texas’ voter photo identification requirement. “Texas has the strongest photo ID law in the country,” Paxton said. “I thought it was ironic that in order to go the appellate argument on this issue, I had to fly there but couldn’t get on the airplane without a photo ID, and then I had to enter the federal courthouse but couldn’t enter without a photo ID.”
Paxton said that President Trump’s greatest legacy will be the great job his administration is doing vetting prospective federal judge nominees. “President Bush didn’t do as good a job vetting to make sure they’d protect the Constitution,” he said. He added, “His nomination of a fifth conservative justice to the Supreme Court revealed how important President Trump’s election was. Hillary would have put all of the power in the Executive Branch and we’d never come back from that.”
The Attorney General explained that Montgomery County was his strongest county for votes when he ran for office in 2014. He garnered 74% of the general election votes in this county in the November 2014 general election. Paxton said Montgomery County is most similar to his home county, Collin County, where McKinney is the county seat. “Collin and Montgomery are similar in culture and demographics.”
Paxton emphasized how important Primary Election votes are for Republicans. “Only 5% of all registered voters even vote in the Republican Primary. Therefore, those votes are crucial,” Paxton added. Almost sounding as though he compared reformers in Montgomery County to the Republican “establishment,” Paxton said, “we [reformers] want power dispersed like our Founders, but the other side wants power in the hands of a few.”
Asked how he stayed strong in the face of political persecution, Attorney General Paxton responded, “I don’t feel stressed out about that stuff. I appreciate people like you. But I saw what was coming and felt we needed a strong Attorney General who would fight this stuff. There’s a lot of corruption that I need to go and fix.”
Paxton apologized that his wife Angela wasn’t attending with him but explained that she is running to represent their home area in the Texas Senate. He told the Republican Women that Angela Paxton often says, “I’m a pistol packing mama, and my husband sues Obama.”