Letter from State Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden; December 9, 2014:
Welcome back to Rocky Top. Polls across the State of Tennessee have consistently indicated strong opposition to amnesty; especially unilateral, executive amnesty which you have chosen to force upon an unwilling populous. While I am sure you will be greeted with a warm welcome at Mayor Dean’s Casa Azafran Center, I want to ensure that the voice of millions of Tennesseans, which your recent executive order will undoubtedly disenfranchise, is heard. This is why I have initiated a lawsuit against your administration, based on this aforementioned unconstitutional action, in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Mr. President, let me be clear: my opposition isn’t necessarily about immigration, and it’s not about party politics. My opposition is deeply rooted in principle and my constant effort to maintain the delicate balance of power; a separation of powers which has served our nation well for many, many years.
You do not have the power to commandeer state resources to fulfill your roughshod and unwelcome plans for immigration. Not even Congress has that power, as the Supreme Court of the United States has made this explicitly clear in more than 180 years of precedent. The most recent Court decision holding this doctrine being the ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius (Obamacare). Here is an excerpt from the majority opinion to refresh your memory:
“For this reason, ‘the Constitution has never been understood to confer upon Congress the ability to require the States to govern according to Congress’ instructions.’ New York, supra, at 162. Otherwise the two-government system established by the Framers would give way to a system that vests power in one central government, and individual liberty would suffer.”
-But you already knew that.
While many, including myself, maintain that your executive order is illegal, some disagree. After all, “Bush did it!” Let’s say the Court does decide to grant the Executive Branch even more power by upholding your executive action as a constitutionally legitimate power. If your executive order is deemed the law of the land, then such laws are not allowed to mandate state implementation. At that point, based on precedent previously cited, if one dollar of state resources are required to carry out your demands, the anti-commandeering principle gives every state in America the power to render your lawless executive order null and void.
We plan to wage a full scale resistance to your executive action in Tennessee, and I hope that other states will continue to follow suit.
Enjoy your stay, and we soon hope to see you in court soon,
– State Representative Andy Holt (R- Dresden)