Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Limiting executive power upholds rule of law

In his May 20 column, the Review-Journal’s John L. Smith accused me of being on the wrong side of history. Earlier this year, with a majority of the states, I joined Nevada to a federal lawsuit to uphold the separation of powers under our Constitution. Mr. Smith believes that President Barack Obama’s unilateral executive actions on immigration reach the right policy outcome. He then argues that the lawsuit to stop those executive actions must be political in nature.

As I said at the time we joined the lawsuit, before the U.S. Congress, in an op-ed for the Review-Journal and once again now, the lawsuit is not about taking a political or even a policy position on immigration. As citizens of Nevada and of the United States, we cannot and we must not circumvent the Constitution every time we see an important policy objective we wish to achieve — that goes for Republicans, Democrats and everyone else. The structure of our Constitution must transcend politics. The Founding Fathers understood that separating legislative power from executive power protects our liberty. That insight is just as true in 2015 as it was in 1789.

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