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Sewell Disappointed In Brooks’ Call For Legal Action Against Obama

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

BIRMINGHAM—On Wednesday, November 19, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D from Selma) responded to Congressman Mo Brooks’ (R from Huntsville) bill to sue President Obama (D) over his Executive Action on Immigration, which will be announced on Thursday in a nationally televised address.

Representative Sewell said in a written statement, “I am deeply disappointed with my colleague from Alabama, Representative Mo Brooks, for introducing legislation to bring legal action against President Obama for acting within his existing executive authority to improve our nation’s broken immigration system. While legislative action is always preferable, House Republicans have refused to act on this urgent issue for far too long. Our families, communities, and national and local economies can no longer afford the steep price for this reckless inaction. Contrary to the allegations against our President, the legal authority for taking executive action is consistent with existing law and historical precedent. In fact, President Abraham Lincoln freed American slaves through an executive order, the Emancipation Proclamation. Likewise, President Harry Truman integrated our nations Armed Forces through the use of an executive order, and every Administration since President Dwight D. Eisenhower has used such authority to address similar issues pertaining to the national interest. Instead of wasting time and taxpayer dollars on this frivolous lawsuit, my colleague from North Alabama should abandon political grandstanding and work with those of us in Congress who are championing bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.”

Congressman Mo Brooks said in a statement on Facebook, “In response to President Obama’s promised executive amnesty, Monday night I introduced a resolution that would authorize the House of Representatives to sue the President or other Executive Branch officials for actions that are inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution, with respect to immigration laws.”

Rep. Brooks said, “Seeking judicial guidance is not partisan, there is a bigger issue at stake. The overarching issue in this litigation is the delicate balance of power that our nation’s founders embodied in our Constitution. Embodied in that overarching issue is one question: Is America based on tyranny or democracy?”

According to media reports President Obama will unilaterally give legal status and work permits to an estimated five million illegal aliens.

There are 22 documented instances of President Obama telling immigrant groups that he did not have the power to grant Executive Amnesty. In September 2011, President Obama stated that he lacked authority to unilaterally grant Executive Amnesty, “This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. … We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is, there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.”

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The Constitution has not changed, but President Obama’s opinion of his own powers has changed.

In response Congressman Brooks introduced House Resolution 757 to authorize the House of Representatives to seek a declaratory judgment action in federal court to determine whether President Obama’s amnesty executive order violates the Constitution and federal immigration law duties, and, if so, to obtain injunctive relief and a writ of mandamus to compel President Obama and the Executive Branch to obey immigration laws as passed by Congress, signed into law by presidents, and interpreted by Federal judges.

Congressman Brooks said, “As his own words reflect, President Obama knows he lacks legal authority to grant Executive Amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Yet, in response to special interest group pressures, President Obama says he will grant executive amnesty anyway. President Obama should be held to his own words and bound by the United States Constitution. Thankfully, our system of government grants courts the authority to resolve legal disputes. The Federal courts are best suited to determine if Obama is exceeding his authority, and, if so, how to reverse it. Under America’s Constitution, we elect presidents, not dictators or tyrants. Under our system of government, legal disputes of this nature are for the courts to decide. My resolution empowers the U.S. House of Representatives to do that.”

Congressman Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.

Neither has a major party challenger in the November 4 General Election.

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Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.


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