Jul 26th - 11:00 am
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders delegates clashed over their candidates at their breakfast Tuesday morning. Sanders supporters got up on stage to try to unite in moving forward and spoke hopefully of dialogue with Clinton supporters. But then one of the Sanders delegates took a turn against the presumptive nominee.
“We want to be clear,” Russel Lytle said. “We are currently condemning our current presumptive nominee.”
Clinton backers quickly started shouting “shame” and “get off the stage.”
The two chairs of Clinton and Sanders Texas campaigns tried to calm the crowd down and urged unity.
Lytle apologized in a statement and also voluntarily withdrew his credentials.
The divide was evident on day one of the convention when Sanders supporters constantly booed while speakers took the main stage. Sanders told the audience in his primetime speech Monday night they needed to unite behind Clinton to beat Donald Trump. Sanders will speak at the Texas delegate breakfast Wednesday morning.
Join us on Capital Tonight at 7 for more reaction to the day’s events.
Jul 26th - 10:41 am
Day one of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia kicked off with quite a bit of chaos. But it ended with a call for unity.
That call came from Bernie Sanders, who’s supporters had been booing and shouting throughout the day on the convention floor.
Sanders spoke during primetime Monday night and walked out to loud applause. He said no one is more disappointed than he is that he’s not the nominee. He then listed off a number of his proposals that have been pushed front and center – because he says he was in the race. But while many remain disappointed he’s not the nominee, Sanders urged his supporters to unite behind Clinton.
“In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” Sanders said.
First Lady Michelle Obama also took the stage on the first day of the convention. She took a jab at the Republican nominee saying she wants a president who knows issues “cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.”
She also praised Clinton saying she’s advancing the cause for women.
“And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States,” Obama said.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren urged Democrats to unite behind Clinton to beat Donald Trump. She said Trump only cares about himself, and democrats are stronger together.
“When we turn on each other we can’t unite to fight back against a rigged system. Well, I’ve got news for Donald Trump, the American people are not falling for it,” Warren said.
Jul 21st - 12:43 pm
Ted Cruz took some heat from his home state delegates Thursday morning. The night before, he was booed during his primetime speech on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The convention crowd erupting in chants of “endorse Trump.” Cruz never made it official but congratulated Trump at the beginning of his speech. Trump walked into the hall at the end of Cruz’s speech to applause so loud, it drowned out the Texas senator’s final comments.
On the final morning of the RNC, Cruz spoke at the Texas delegate breakfast. He was greeted with a standing ovation, but some in the crowd quickly started calling him out. Cruz took questions from the audience. One delegate spoke out saying when she first met Cruz, she asked if he was a man of his word? She noted that Cruz and Trump had some bad blood between them and Cruz acknowledged he didn’t want to endorse someone who attacked his wife and father. The delegate then added, “It’s not about Heidi, Rafael, it’s about the United State of America.”
Cruz said, “I wasn’t elected to do the convenient thing, I was elected to do what’s right and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Another delegate shouted out, “Get over it, it’s politics.” Cruz responded, “This is not a game. This is not politics.”
Cruz also told the supporters in the crowd that he’s not encouraging any of them to write his name in.
When asked if Cruz was going to vote for Donald Trump, one delegate shouted out, “His vote is private.”
A delegate from Houston talked about Cruz’s speech last night. “It was horrible to the end where he didn’t endorse. Thought it was tasteless and disrespectful,” he said.
Photos by Karina Kling
Jul 20th - 6:28 pm
photos by Karina Kling
Sen. Ted Cruz held a Cleveland event Wednesday to thank the people who supported him during his presidential campaign. He didn’t mention his former rival Donald Trump by name, but when he told the crowd they have a nominee, Trump’s plane flew over the event. The crowd booed loudly. Cruz responded with a laugh said, “Alright, that was pretty well orchestrated. Jeff, did you email them to fly the plane right when I said that?”
Jeff Roe is Cruz’s campaign manager.
Cruz also recalled the end of his campaign and said his biggest regret was not individually thanking every volunteer who worked for him. He admitted he didn’t do it because he didn’t want to break down in front of reporters following his devastating loss in the Indiana primary.
“I wasn’t going to let those SOBs turn Lyin’ Ted into Cryin’ Ted.” Lyin’ Ted was the nickname Trump gave the Texas senator.
Jul 20th - 2:41 pm
A federal appeals court has ordered changed to Texas’ voter ID law. The court ruled the law violates the Voting Rights Act and has ordered changes before the November election. The ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals instructs a lower court to fix the “discriminatory effect” of the 2011 law before the November election, but said to do it without disrupting the process too much.
Read the statements from Texas officials on both sides of the issue (will be updated):
Governor Greg Abbott today released the following statement on the 5th Circuit Court’s Voter ID ruling:
“The 5th Circuit rightly reversed the lower court’s finding of discriminatory purpose, but wrongly concluded the law had a discriminatory effect. Voter fraud is real, and it undermines the integrity of the election process. As Attorney General I prosecuted cases against voter fraud across the State, and Texas will continue to make sure there is no illegal voting at the ballot box.”
Attorney General Ken Paxton:
“It is imperative that the State government safeguards our elections and ensures the integrity of our democratic process. Preventing voter fraud is essential to accurately reflecting the will of Texas voters during elections, and it is unfortunate that this common-sense law, providing protections against fraud, was not upheld in its entirety.”
The Texas Legislature enacted the voter ID law in 2011 through Senate Bill 14 (SB14), requiring voters to present government-issued photo ID when voting at the polls. The seven acceptable forms of photo ID included the following: a Texas Driver’s license, free Texas election identification certificate (EIC), Texas personal ID card, Texas license to carry a concealed handgun, U.S. military ID card, U.S. citizenship certificate, and U.S. passport.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Today, is a great day for all Texas voters! The most restrictive and discriminatory Republican voter ID law in country has been struck down.
“Texas Democrats know that our nation and democracy are stronger when everyone participates in the electoral process. That is why today’s victory is so important for our families. This November, our families will decide the future of our nation, and voter ID, as we know it, will be no more.
“Texas Republican’s discriminatory Voter ID law has held some 700,000 Texans away from their right to vote for many elections now. Unfortunately, that damage by Republicans has already been done to our families. However, we can now look forward to a fairer election system, worthy of our great state.
“This is a huge win for voting rights in Texas and across our nation.
“Our legal team is reviewing the opinion and the Texas Democratic Party will have further comment at a later time.”
San Antonio, Texas – State Senator José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) issued the following statement after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Texas’ intolerable voter ID law.
The following quotes are attributable to Senator José Menéndez:
“Today the Court affirmed that voting is a founding principal of our Democracy and nothing shall abridge that right. We knew from the beginning that Texas’ voter ID law was meant to disenfranchise voters. The ruling will help the grandmother who no longer has her driver’s license exercise her right to vote. It will allow the college student, who was barred from using a student id to vote, access to their polling place. For too long, the State prioritized keeping people away from a polling location with this draconian law. The Court confirmed that this egregious law was put into place to oppress Texas voters. Laws that hinder the minority vote have no place in America.”
“The millions of dollars spent defending this unconstitutional law could have helped shore up Child Protective Services, replaced textbooks for Texas classrooms, or helped thousands of indigent seniors. I’m calling on General Paxton to stop chasing windmills and face the reality that this law discriminates against voters. It’s all money flushed down the toilet on a “solution” looking for a fictitious problem.”
Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas:
“We’re delighted that the 5th Circuit has determined — once again – that Texas’ discriminatory photo voter ID law has the effect of disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of minority voters in the Lone Star State while doing precisely nothing to prevent voter fraud. This law was nothing less than a brazen and transparent attempt to keep people of color out of the voting booth. The case now goes back to the district judge to fashion a remedy that will make it easier for qualified Texans to cast their ballots this fall and we’re hopeful the result will be more fair.”
Jul 19th - 1:11 pm
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has not endorsed Donald Trump and he said he doesn’t have plans to do it.
“I don’t think endorsing, or my activity at the top of the ticket is going to matter a bit,” Speaker Straus said in a one on one interview with Capital Tonight anchor Karina Kling at the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio.
“My focus is down ballot. I have this job to do and I take it 100 percent seriously.”
Straus is the chairman of the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee which works to get GOP lawmakers elected nationwide.
“There should be more focus and care and attention down ballot then ever before because of that unpredictability at the top,” Straus said.
Straus also talked about legislative priorities for the next session. Watch our full interview with him on Capital Tonight at 7pm.
Jul 19th - 1:00 pm
Each morning before the convention convenes, Texas Delegates get to hear from state and nationally elected Republicans. Tuesday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke about the need for party unity.
Like a lot of Republicans, the Wisconsin Congressman took his time before officially endorsing Donald Trump. He said the threat of a Hillary Clinton presidency should be enough for voters to turn out and support the presumptive Republican nominee.
“This is a binary choice. It is either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. If you’re not for Donald Trump, if you’re not voting, if you’re not showing up, you’re helping Hillary Clinton,” Speaker Ryan said.
Ryan praised Texas Representatives, Kevin Brady and Michael McCaul for leading committees in the house. The House Speaker will also address the convention floor, later Tuesday night.
Here are some photos from the Texas delegation breakfast:
Jul 19th - 11:59 am
Day 1 of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio provided some fireworks and controversy. While the party leaders try to promote unity, a group of delegates trying to stop Trump led a floor fight over a vote on convention rules. The Never Trump group wanted a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules, but a voice vote prevailed. Some Texans, like delegate Rachel Chupnik, said it would have been a fairer approach.
“It should be perfectly fine to have the delegates be able to have a roll call vote, for example, where you can clearly distinguish between the ayes and the nays instead of just both sides shout and okay the ayes have it. Well it was not very clear at all.”
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Tom Mechler disagreed.
“The woman from Colorado who was behind the unbinding it failed miserable. I mean it didn’t even come close to getting a threshold.”
The move to stop Trump wasn’t likely to get approved but the movement continues to have a presence this week at the convention.
Meanwhile, three Texans took the stage Monday night. Congressman Michael McCaul got a primetime spot. He was tapped by Trump to carry out the theme of day one, “Make America Safe Again.” The chair of the House Homeland Security Committee acknowledged the recent police shootings in his home state, saying “America stands with my hometown and we will never forget.”
Then he tore into Hillary Clinton’s record on national security and told the crowd, Trump will repair the damage she has done.
“A Trump administration will take on this fight and send a clear message to the Islamic terrorists, “you may have fired the first shot but rest assured, America will fire the last,” McCaul said to a cheering crowd.
Two other Texans took the stage Monday night. Former Governor Rick Perry introduced his friend and former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. Both tried to make the pitch to veterans to get on board with Trump.
We also caught up with Perry one on one. He said he’d be open to serving in the Trump Administration.
Sen. John Cornyn has been less enthusiastic about Trump, but in our one on one interview he said “those of us who had other choices that we would have preferred need to get over it.”
Watch our full interviews here.
Jun 27th - 11:04 am
In a 5-3 decision Monday, the US Supreme Court struck down Texas’ strict abortion regulations that would have closed more than half the clinics in the state. It’s the court’s biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century. Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion for the court held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman’s right to an abortion. We will have complete coverage of the decision, plus reaction from Texas leaders on Capital Tonight at 7pm.
Statements from Texas officials on both sides of the issue have been coming in all morning. We’ve compiled a list of those responses below:
Amy Hagstrom Miller, Founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health:
“I am beyond elated. Every day Whole Woman’s Health treats our patients with compassion, respect and dignity—and with this historic decision, today the Supreme Court did the same. We’re thrilled that justice was served and our clinics stay open. After years of fighting heartless, anti-abortion Texas politicians who would seemingly stop at nothing to push abortion out of reach, I want everyone to understand: you don’t mess with Texas, you don’t mess with Whole Woman’s Health, and you don’t mess with this beautiful, powerful movement of people dedicated to reproductive health, rights, and justice.
“Three years ago, Texas politicians passed HB 2, a regressive law aimed directly at women who have decided to end a pregnancy and those of us who provide their care. With no legitimate medical justification, politicians forced abortion providers to completely restructure our clinics or to build mini hospitals. HB 2 forced more than half of Texas’ abortion clinics to close—including several of my own. These closures have put a staggering burden on Texas women. With this clinic shutdown law, politicians forced Texas women seeking abortion to go to clinics that are further away or in another state; take more days off of work, lose income, find childcare, and arrange and pay for transportation to travel hundreds of miles. For many, the process of obtaining safe and legal health care has become an onerous, grueling feat or just flat out impossible.
“I hold in my heart all those women and families who were forced to forgo care as a result of Texas’ draconian anti-choice laws.
“Today’s decision marks a turnaround for Texas and for our country, but let me be clear: this win doesn’t mean the struggle is over. First, clinics don’t reopen overnight. We have a daunting task ahead of us to determine whether and how we can reopen our health centers that were forced to shut their doors over the past several years. Renewing leases, hiring staff, and working with the communities that we previously served to help us re- open for care. And second, this decision only addressed two of the many, many restrictions women face to get abortion care in Texas. Now we must redouble our efforts across the country to end similar state restrictions that push abortion out of reach for too many women. It’s time to pass proactive state laws so a woman has access to quality clinics in her community, can afford abortion, and doesn’t face shame or stigma when she seeks care.
“From day one, Whole Woman’s Health rejected HB 2’s insulting premise and we fought back. We took on the bully politicians. We have struggled every day since then against anti-choice regressive policies and our opposition’s best efforts to shut us down. And we won.
“Today, we made history and tomorrow, we get back to work so that every woman who seeks abortion services can get the health care she needs with dignity and respect.”
DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford, and Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following joint statement:
The Supreme Court made the right decision today by ruling in favor of women’s health and women’s rights. In the forty years since Roe v. Wade, women have had the constitutionally protected right to make their own health care decisions and access to a safe and legal abortion.
“Since then, Republicans have pursued every opportunity in states across the country to undermine those rights and invade women’s privacy. Like so many other similar anti-abortion measures snaking their way through state legislatures, the Texas law struck down today purports to make women’s reproductive health care safer. In reality, the medically unnecessary, intrusive and dubious regulations it contains are so onerous, expensive or impossible to implement that they force health care clinics to close their doors and turn women away. Texas is home to 5.4 million women of reproductive age. In its first year alone, HB2 forced half of the Texas clinics that provided abortion services to close, leaving some women to travel hundreds of miles for the care they need.
“By striking down HB2, the Court has given Texas women and women everywhere a victory in the ongoing fight to protect abortion rights. But we cannot take anything for granted and we must remain vigilant – especially as we head toward Election Day in November. Today’s victory, however, doesn’t change the fact that the American people deserve a fully functioning Supreme Court. Last week the court deadlocked on issues in which the vacant seat on the Court would have made it possible for the independent judicial branch to actually rule on the merits of the case before it. And that took place almost exactly 100 days after President Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who is widely recognized as the most qualified jurist to have ever been nominated to the Supreme Court, with Senate Republicans continuing to block his confirmation and those of dozens of other judges to federal benches.
“The ruling also highlights the contrast before voters in this November’s elections. Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, is opposed to abortion rights and even said women who get an abortion should be punished. Democrats will continue to stand up for a women’s right to choose. We are poised to nominate a presidential candidate in July who, unlike Trump, will have the temperament and judgment required to lead from the Oval Office, including to carry out the sacred duty to nominate federal judges. We must elect a Democrat as our next president.”
Lisa Turner, Lone Star Project State Director:
“Texas Republicans should stop wasting our tax dollars defending disastrous policies and start solving urgent state needs like foster care and public education – start improving lives and stop risking them. Thankfully the United States Supreme Court sided with women and families over Texas Republicans in striking down their dangerous and overreaching attack on women’s health.”
Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, made the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling:
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for Texans’ health and safety. This decision means that the remaining abortion clinics in Texas won’t have to close their doors and paves the way for other clinics to open to meet the needs of underserved communities across the state.
“This landmark decision continues the powerful momentum for reproductive rights and against political interference in our right to safe, legal abortion. The fight to protect abortion access does not end today—this is just the first step in dismantling laws that make it harder for people to access the health care they need.”
Sen. Kirk Watson
“Today, the women of Texas won. The U.S. Supreme Court decision upheld the right to accessible and safe reproductive health care for women. And for that, we have a cavalry of strong Texas women to thank.
For too long, the women of this state have been collateral damage in a political battle. I’m hopeful we can now get to work on policies that truly do protect women’s health, such as improved access to birth control and breast and cervical cancer screenings as well as medically accurate sex education.”
Sen. Jose Menendez:
“Today’s landmark decision by the Supreme Court to overturn House Bill 2 is a profound victory for women not just in Texas, but across the country. The 5-3 decision shows that House Bill 2 was never meant to protect women’s health, but rather a ruse to deny access to their constitutional right to an abortion. With this bill overturned, Texas is now a safer, more accessible state for all women.”
“The unscrupulous regulations put in place under House Bill 2 had profound consequences in Texas. More than half of the abortion clinics in Texas were shuttered, making it difficult to receive medical care for thousands of Texans. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled I hope these clinics will reopen and provide needed reproductive care.”
“Finally, the fight to protect a woman’s right to choose is not over. Today’s ruling marked a major victory for women’s health, but rest assured politicians are already devising the next round of medically unnecessary regulations. We must remain vigilant and stand up for Texas women.”
Rep. Donna Howard:
“Today’s ruling is a triumphant reaffirmation of our reproductive rights.
“This statement from the Supreme Court is a powerful indicator that we need to stop fighting a battle which was decided in Roe v. Wade more than 40 years ago.
“Moving forward, Texas lawmakers should refrain from pushing medically unnecessary policies which erect barriers to a safe and legal medical procedure. If they do, it is now crystal clear that the courts—and the public—will forcefully stand in their way.
“In the upcoming session, I will be filing proposals to allow for 12-month supplies of birth control pills, provide for a contraceptive benefit through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and continue expanding access to implants and IUDs.
“I hope that my fellow lawmakers will support these and other family planning measures which lead toward our shared goal of reducing the rate of and need for abortion, but do so in a manner which respects women and better ensures their health, safety, and autonomy.”
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller:
“This decision is a huge victory for the dignity of women and their constitutional right to make their own health care decisions. But extremists from the Governor’s Office to the state Capitol are already preparing more legislative efforts to deny women their constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion care in Texas. They refused to listen to the experts who said this law was medically unnecessary and to the voices of thousands of women who came to the Capitol three years ago. But the Supreme Court listened to those voices and today honored the constitutional right of women to access abortion care no matter their zip code. This fight continues until our lawmakers trust Texas women and families to make their own decisions about their health care and their future.”
Governor Greg Abbott:
“The decision erodes States’ lawmaking authority to safeguard the health and safety of women and subjects more innocent life to being lost. Texas’ goal is to protect innocent life, while ensuring the highest health and safety standards for women.”
Attorney General Ken Paxton:
“HB2 was an effort to improve minimum safety standards and ensure capable care for Texas women. It’s exceedingly unfortunate that the court has taken the ability to protect women’s health out of the hands of Texas citizens and their duly-elected representatives.”
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick:
“Today’s United States Supreme Court ruling striking down House Bill 2 (HB 2) is a devastating blow to the protection of the health and safety of women in Texas. HB 2 was passed during the 83rd Texas legislative session to ensure the health and safety of women by holding abortion clinics to the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers while also requiring practitioners to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility.
Now abortion clinics are free to ignore these basic safety standards and continue practicing under substandard conditions. By its ruling, the Court held that the ability of abortion clinics to remain open – even under substandard conditions –outweighs the state’s ability to put women’s health and safety first.
Despite today’s devastating impact on women’s health care, and as the proud author of the sonogram bill and co-writer of HB 2, I remain committed to protecting women’s health and safety.”
Sen. John Cornyn:
“Today’s ruling sets a dangerous precedent for states like Texas, which the Constitution makes clear should be free to pass laws that are in the best interests of our citizens. Commonsense requirements that abortion clinics be held to the same standards as other medical facilities put the health of the patient first, and today’s decision is a step back in protecting the well-being of mothers across our state.”
Sen. Ted Cruz:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is profoundly disappointing,” Sen. Cruz said. “Texas enacted HB 2’s commonsense health standards to ensure that women receive safe care.
“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court sided with abortion extremists who care more about providing abortion-on-demand than they do protecting women’s health.
“This decision will not silence our fight to protect the most helpless and innocent among us, nor will we cease our efforts to protect women from an abortion industry that prioritizes profit margins over improving the safety and health of Texas women. We will continue to stand resolutely to defend unborn life because we know that every life is a gift from God, and without life there is no liberty.”
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Tom Mechler:
“With the Supreme Court striking down House Bill 2 this morning, women’s healthcare in the state of Texas was dealt a significant blow. Allowing substandard clinics to remain intact means the Supreme Court chose quantity over quality when it comes to the services provided to Texas women, which is completely unacceptable. The Republican Party of Texas will proudly continue to fight for Texas women’s health.”
Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life:
We are very disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision. The State of Texas will be unable to fully implement HB 2’s common sense regulations to protect the health and safety of women at substandard abortion facilities. Our work to protect mothers and unborn babies from abortion will continue. We will scrutinize this decision, hostile as it is to reasonable safety regulations, to find ways to increase abortion facility safety regulations as much as possible. Even if HB 2 were fully implemented, abortion would remain readily available in Texas. Nine enormous abortion facilities that meet the HB 2 safety standards will continue to operate in the major metropolitan areas — Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio — as well as a free standing abortion facility in McAllen and abortion facilities in New Mexico near to El Paso. The difference is that nine substandard facilities, all located near to these, will continue to operate. We will continue to promote compassionate alternatives to abortion, including adoption, so that no woman seeks abortion because she feels she has no alternative.
SEN. KONNI BURTON STATEMENT ON WHOLE WOMEN’S HEALTH V. HELLERSTEDT RULING
“I am extremely disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling today; however, members of the Texas Legislature like myself,
who believe deeply in the value of every human life, will not yield in our efforts to provide the highest quality healthcare for
women and our continued promotion of a culture of life.”
Jun 23rd - 11:53 am
The United States Supreme Court tie vote on immigration has blocked President Obama’s plan that sought to shield millions living in the U.S. illegally from deportation. The 4-4 vote sets no national precedent but leaves in place the decisions by a federal judge in Brownsville and the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals until a full hearing of the case. It is a big blow to the Obama administration, which hoped to roll out the expansion of the program before the end of his presidency. Texas led 26 Republican-dominated states in challenging the program.
We’ve compiled a list of Texas leaders reaction to the Supreme Court ruling that we have received:
Governor Greg Abbott
“The action taken by the President was an unauthorized abuse of presidential power that trampled the Constitution, and the Supreme Court rightly denied the President the ability to grant amnesty contrary to immigration laws,” said Governor Abbott. “As the President himself said, he is not a king who can unilaterally change and write immigration laws. Today’s ruling is also a victory for all law-abiding Americans—including the millions of immigrants who came to America following the rule of law.”
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick
“Today’s action by the U.S. Supreme Court effectively blocking President Obama’s illegal amnesty program is a major victory for Texas and the bipartisan 26-state coalition.
The Court’s 4-4 vote leaves in place the Fifth Circuit’s ruling that protects the separation of powers. The president has no authority to circumvent Congress and disregard the U.S. Constitution by allowing millions of illegal immigrants to continue to stay in the U.S. I will continue to lead the effort to secure the Texas border. Last session the Senate lead to increase funding to an unprecedented $800 million for border security. In Texas we are taking the right steps to protect our citizens. I thank those in Texas law enforcement who are on the front lines every day for us. Next session, border security will continue to be a top priority for me.”
Attorney General Ken Paxton
“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law. This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”
Sen. John Cornyn
“By going around Congress to grant legal status to millions of people here illegally, the President abused the power of his office and ignored the will of the American people. The President can’t circumvent the legislative process simply because he doesn’t get what he wants, and I’m glad the Rule of Law was affirmed.”
Congressman Michael McCaul
“Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court is a victory for the constitution and our sovereignty as a nation. The 4-4 vote affirms the 5th Circuit of Appeals decision that President Obama’s executive amnesty is unconstitutional and cannot go forward. President Obama has continually attempted to go around Congress and bypass the checks and balances our government is based on in order to impose his will. This decision is a major step in reeling in the power of the executive branch. It also gives Congress an opportunity to achieve one of my top priorities as Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security – securing our border first.”
Senator Sylvia R. Garcia, Chair of the Senate Hispanic Caucus
“I am extremely disappointed the U.S. Supreme Court did not uphold President Obama’s order granting prosecutorial discretion for the undocumented parents of U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents. This decision will hurt economically, DAPA and its precursor Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been a tremendous benefit to Texas. In Texas, undocumented youth paid $51.6 million in tuition and fees in 2013 and paid an estimated $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. In 2011, immigrants of all status contributed $65 billion in economic output to the state in terms of wages, salary, and business earnings. But even worse, tearing families apart will continue to cast a shadow of fear over hard working immigrant workers and encourage their exploitation. Congress must take action and provide a process for these workers and students to serve their country, move up the economic ladder, and achieve their dreams.”
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa
“For our kids, this is about whether mom or dad will be here tomorrow. This is a human tragedy, and 4 million people’s lives hang in the balance. Congress refuses to act on immigration, the Supreme Court is tied, and Senate Republicans refuse to do their job and give Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a vote or even a hearing.
“Tragically, this decision endangers the lives of so many. It’s time for Republicans to stop trying to score political points by tearing families apart. It’s time for Republicans to join a broad coalition of Democrats, the business community, faith leaders, and families working towards comprehensive immigration solutions.
“We all need to get to work, because America’s families depend on it. We cannot allow Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to set the tone on immigration and score cheap political points on the lives of our families. Today, Texas Democrats renew their commitment to keep fighting for a just and fair comprehensive immigration system.”
Jose P. Garza, Executive Director of the Workers Defense Project
“The Supreme Court has failed to provide a solution for people living in the shadows. The Court’s decision means that as many as five million immigrants in the U.S. remain in constant fear of being separated from their families at any time, and possibly deported. Workers Defense and our families will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform despite this decision.”
State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, Chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus
“The Supreme Court’s ruling in US v. Texas is profoundly disappointing. In addition to opening the floodgates for blatantly ideological lawsuits against government policies, this ruling condemns millions of folks who just want to earn an education, to work, and improve the lives of their families to live under the constant threat of deportation and separation from their families.
“We will not surrender to fear, anger, misunderstanding, or hate. We will not give up the fight for common-sense immigration reform.”
State Representative Ana Hernandez, Legal Counsel for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus
“The Supreme Court’s tied decision on the President’s executive actions does nothing to secure our economy or help hardworking families wanting to contribute to American society. It simply keeps in place an unacceptable status quo anchored in uncertainty and fear. Our country deserves better.”
We will update as we receive more statements throughout the day. Join us at 7 on Capital Tonight for full coverage of both immigration and affirmative action rulings from SCOTUS today. We’ll also have in depth analysis and our guest tonight is former Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis. She’ll be discussing the upcoming decision from the high court on abortion.