(CNSNews.com) - Even before President Obama announced that his immigration plan will proceed in the absence of legislation, several state attorneys-general announced they plan to sue the president.
“It is anticipated tonight’s speech will again prove our president sees himself as above the law," Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said on Thursday.
"Regardless of what the president thinks the law ought to be, our Constitution dictates that Congress makes the law, it is the presidents duty to faithfully execute those laws. If the President takes an executive action that violates his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the immigration laws passed by Congress, we will take action to hold him accountable.”
Texas Attorney-General Greg Abbot (now the governor-elect) also plan to file a lawsuit next week:
"President Obama has circumvented Congress and deliberately bypassed the will of the American people, eroding the very foundation of our nation’s Constitution and bestowing a legacy of lawlessness," Abbott said in a news release.
"Texans have witnessed firsthand the costs and consequences caused by President Obama’s dictatorial immigration policy and now we must work together toward a solution in fixing our broken immigration system. Following tonight’s pronouncement, I am prepared to immediately challenge President Obama in court, securing our state's sovereignty and guaranteeing the rule of law as it was intended under the Constitution."
Laura Ingraham, a conservative talk show host who is also an attorney, said it's not clear if the states have the standing to sue the president in this case, but Congress does:
"I don't want to get too into the legalese here, but you have to show that you and your state, how far it was personally hurt, what your cause of action is. And in my mind, the best cause of action that can be had here is one filed by a member of Congress. And the basis of that lawsuit would be a separation of powers claim -- namely that the president usurped legislative authority.
"Clearly it was not the intent of Congress to move to both temporarily legalize the people who are here illegally and even go beyond that to institute this new policy of new foreign workers allowed to come in, you know, the new students who will be able to stay and so forth. That goes way beyond the traditional prosecutorial discretion that we have seen with presidents in the past," Ingraham told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly.
"Again, I haven't seen the legal theories they are thinking about on the state level. But I think the strongest case -- and I'm not even sure it's a winning case, but the strongest case -- is going to be filed by a member of Congress."
Ingraham noted that House Speaker John Boehner has retained attorney Jonathan Turley to look into the constitutional questions presented by Obama's immigration action.
"I have never ever seen anything like this," she said. "And I know the Constitution pretty well. I know the legal precedent pretty well. I have never seen a president take this much authority away from Congress and in sharp contrast to what he said just a year ago, many, many, many times."
Ingraham also said Obama "cannot do anything unless he has the money to do it."