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Weekly Updates from Attorney General Ken Paxton: February 3, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017 – Austin



Everyone should have a hero to whom they aspire—someone who drives them to be better, to succeed, to be stouthearted in their principles. When I was a young attorney, Justice Antonin Scalia occupied that role. He was the epitome of what a U.S. Supreme Court justice should be. He was intelligent, sharp-witted, compassionate, and joyful in his vocation. He all but singlehandedly brought the Constitution’s text back into the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence.

For that reason, I felt a great weight lift from my mind when President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Scalia’s vacant seat. As I explained to Rick Roberts on WBAP-AM, Judge Gorsuch is a textualist in the mold of Scalia. He is a thought-leader with an impeccable resume, who has the ability to persuade not only his colleagues, but also the American people of the importance of law as well as reasonable limits on government authority. I have complete faith that, like his predecessor, Judge Gorsuch is someone who will follow the Constitution as written by our nation’s founders.

Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation cannot come soon enough. Over the last decade, there has been a precipitous drop in the amount of respect shown to the rule of law by government leaders. On the federal side, bureaucratic agencies gobble up more and more legislative responsibilities. On the local side, public officials feel entitled to ignore federal and state law because, in their judgment, the policy is unwise. 

This past week, for example, the State Affairs Committee for the Texas Senate was forced to consider legislation (Senate Bill 4) that will keep Texas subdivisions from refusing to enforce existing immigration law. I explained in Breitbart Texas, these “sanctuary cities imperil public safety.” For years deportation standards chiefly focused only on undocumented immigrants convicted of the most violent and heinous crimes. To obstruct the U.S. government’s enforcement efforts is to provide dangerous criminal elements a safe place to land if they are deported and reenter the country. Yet that is what Travis County, among others, propose.

The confirmation of Judge Gorsuch will not end sanctuary cities. The answer to that policy dilemma sits with the Texas Legislature and, when appropriate, the Texas state courts. But, as I have written on these webpages before, local lawlessness is emboldened by the federal government’s bad example. Judge Gorsuch has a proven record of combatting government misconduct when and where he finds it. He has a record of skepticism and action against the administrative state and its usurpation of Congress’ legislative authority. With his addition to the U.S. Supreme Court, we might finally roll back the cultural conditions that incite local officials to violate the law and put their fellow citizens at risk.

You can learn more about Judge Neil Gorsuch and the reasons he has my support by clinking on the following link, which connects to a 20-state coalition letter I sent to the U.S Senate.

Very Truly Yours,

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Ken Paxton