UPDATED: ZOELLER RETAINS COSTLY BARNES & THORNBURG LAW FIRM TO REPRESENT STATE
Gov. Mike Pence and Attorney General Greg Zoeller have not always seen eye to eye on matters of immigration despite being members of the same political party. Their relationship is going to be put further to the test as Gov. Pence's office released the text of a letter he sent to Zoeller today "formally directing" his office to "use any and all legal means to represent the State of Indiana as a plaintiff in the suit being filed by the State of Texas today." The lawsuit being initiated by Texas officials contends President Barack Obama "overstepped his executive authority by circumventing Congress." Here's the full text of the governor's letter:
Dear General Zoeller:
Our respective offices have been discussing with each other and with other states the complaint to be filed in the United States District Court in Texas today seeking to overturn President Obama’s executive order bypassing the elected Congress and unilaterally changing the laws of the United States of America. Several other states have or will join the State of Texas in an effort to stop this unconstitutional usurpation of power by the President. I intend for Indiana to be a plaintiff as well.
On the evening President Obama publicly announced his intention to issue an executive order changing the laws of the country, I stated “[t]onight the President announced his plan to bypass Congress by issuing an executive order changing American immigration laws. While reasonable people can differ on ways to improve our nation’s broken immigration system, the President's unilateral action is an unacceptable end run around the democratic process and must be reversed. The proper place to debate immigration policy is through the legislative process defined in our Constitution. The State of Indiana will carefully evaluate the details of the Executive Order and take any available legal actions necessary to restore the rule of law and proper balance to our constitutional system of government.”
I have not changed my position with respect to the unconstitutionality of the President’s actions. As the above-mentioned complaint to be filed by the State of Texas states, “[t]his is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law, presidential power and enforcement of the U.S. Constitution.” I firmly believe that the President, by his own previous admissions, has overstepped his executive authority by circumventing Congress, thereby preventing Indiana’s elected representatives from participating in the debate on this important issue and eliminating the State of Indiana’s voice in the matter.
While we have previously had informal discussions about Indiana joining this lawsuit, I am formally directing you to use any and all legal means necessary to represent the State of Indiana as a plaintiff in the suit being filed by the State of Texas today.
I realize further analysis of the impact of the President’s executive order on the State of Indiana may give rise to additional claims or even new litigation, and I request your continuing diligence on this issue. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Michael R. Pence
Governor of Indiana
UPDATE: Attorney General Greg Zoeller's office will not represent the state's interest in the Texas lawsuit. Instead, he is punishing Indiana taxpayers by hiring the most costly law firm in the state, which has already stiffed taxpayers for more than $10 million in the IBM-Welfare privatization fiasco. Peter Rusthoven and Joe Chapelle are handling the case on behalf of the state. Interestingly, many of Barnes & Thornburg's big-paying clients support the President's executive action on immigration reform, and I challenge Peter Rusthoven to prove me wrong on that point. The real question will be whose interests his firm will really be representing as they bill taxpayers for this questionable undertaking. Zoeller's office, on his own initiative, has gone all over the country the past several years intervening in same-sex marriage cases on the side of opponents. Yet he deems it necessary to retain costly outside counsel on the one case he was requested to pursue by the Governor's office.
Damn, Zoeller just got punked!
Go ahead, Zoeller, talk about that "seperately elected office." I want a good laugh.
What's Pence's stand on 9/11 and his history of legislation?
We must stand up to the influx of ILLEGAL ALIENS! -We cannot afford the infliction of injury they impose on us. They demand free housing, medical care (I dare you to walk into the ER of any of our hospitals and see for yourself), Education - with translators and English as a Second Language training....it's B. S. and WE ARE PAYING FOR THEM.
I suggest we declare their illegal ID facility, known as the Mexican Consulate, Persona-Non-Grata and expel the Consulate for its activity to pass out the fake ID called "matricula consular".
The General Assembly should impeach Zoeller and replace him with someone who can discharge the obligations of the office.
Jobbing the representation to Barnes & Thornburg proves Zoeller to be incompetent and unfit for office. It further proves Zoeller to be defiant of Pence. Pence should be furious at Zoeller.
Further, since when is Barnes & Thornburg a good law firm outside of Indiana? They're used to playing in Indiana where cases are decided through means collateral to the law. Do they actually know how to do law like it's done in other states?
Will Barnes & Thornburg be answerable to Pence in the representation? Can Pence tell Zoeller to have B&T stand down so that Pence can have his own General Counsel file the case?
Zoeller just created a world of very serious problems.
Not sure if P & Z should be called "Mutt and Jeff" or "Dumb and Dumber"...
Look, I understand what the various governors are concerned about, but I don't see how the States have standing: Article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution clearly vests "rule[s] of naturalization" in Congress. I don't see the States having standing to sue.
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