Congressman Ted Poe Discusses Supreme Court Arizona Immigration Law Decision, Contempt of Congress and More
This month has brought several clashes of Constitutional power, delegation of authority and ultra vires acts. Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder was cited for contempt of Congress by the House Oversight Committee, President Obama made up new law by creating a new guest worker program, and this week the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on Arizona's fight with the Obama Administration over immigration enforcement, and it will likely rule on ObamaCare. Several conflicts where the showdown of federal authority and jurisdiction are testing the very bounds of our Constitution.
Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX 2nd District) is a member of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. As he has done in the past, he sat down with me to discuss these critical issues and provide his unique insight as both a member of Congress and a former district court judge.
I began by asking Poe if Congress would bring the contempt charge against Attorney General Eric Holder to a vote in the House. "Yes," he replied, "There will be a vote this week. Eric Holder has brought this upon himself." He explained the contempt citation is not something Congress really wants. "We want the information!"
He went on to discuss the process for the contempt proceeding and to explain how a U.S. Attorney, who works for Eric Holder, will actually have to prosecute this case before a Washington, D.C. Federal District Court. He hopes a special prosecutor will be appointed to handle the case to avoid any appearance of impropriety by the Department of Justice. Poe expects the House will vote to hold the AG in contempt and that the vote will receive bipartisan support. We went on to discuss how President Obama's abuse of Executive Privilege will play out in this process.
We discussed the Obama Administration's appearance of being both above the law and actually creating law or "legislating from the Oval Office" as in its recent decision to create a new guest worker program for the children of illegal aliens. Poe expressed the opinion shared by many Americans: "... that's very disturbing, it is not in the President's power to do so." In fact in March of 2011, President Obama told a Univision studio audience that deciding not to enforce immigration law was not within the power of the executive branch.
Today, the SCOTUS ruled a portion of the Arizona SB 1070 law constitutional as it pertains to a police officer's obligation to ascertain the immigration status of an individual they have otherwise legally stopped or detained and of whom they have reasonable suspicion is in the country illegally. The Obama Administration, through the Department of Homeland Security, wasted no time in placing itself above the law again by dissolving all agreements with the State of Arizona as to Arizona's assisting in immigration enforcement through programs such as the Secure Communities and 278(g). They have, in essence, told Arizona - don't call us, we'll call you. Poe reacted stating, "It looks like another example of the Administration refusing to enforce the law."
Regardless of the debate over immigration reform, Poe explained that the President is simply deciding which laws he will enforce and which he will not. "The issue," he said, "is whether the Administration will enforce the law of the land or whether the Administration will go its own way. It's going to go its own way when it wants to."
We revisited the contempt issue and Operation Fast and Furious. Poe disputed the Obama Administration's weak claims that Fast and Furious began under the Bush Administration stating there is no evidence of their involvement. Obama has continuously attempted to place blame for his problems on the Bush Administration. "President Bush is not responsible for Fast and Furious" or for "the people that have been killed because this decision has helped facilitate guns into Mexico."
We concluded with Poe's prediction on the SCOTUS' decision in the ObamaCare court case. He explained the options available to the Court and the impact they could have on Congress and the public. Poe agreed to come back to TexasGOPVote to discuss this ruling after it is released later this week.
Congressman Poe has been fighting the Obama Administration since they came to power in 2009. From fighting the EPA, to attempting to increase border security, to simply getting Obama's team to follow the law, his presence has had tremendous impact for the people of the 2nd District of Texas. Poe faces opposition this fall from a Democrat opponent and will need our support to carry on the fight. Please visit his website to learn how you can keep this patriot fighting for the people of Texas and our nation.
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