Statement from Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris regarding Supreme Court ruling blocking President’s Obama’s controversial executive actions on immigration
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) made the following statement in regards to the decision handed down today by the U.S. Supreme Court on immigration in the case United States v. Texas. The high court affirmed a lower court decision which resulted in a preliminary injunction against executive action taken by President Obama that would have provided illegal immigrants legal status and protection, effectively killing the plan for the duration of Obama’s presidency.
Sen. Norris said, “The Supreme Court struck a blow for liberty today and against regulation without representation,” regarding the decision. “It matters who governs and it matters when the power of those who govern is unconstitutionally usurped.”
“This should be a reminder of the importance of checks and balances and the separation of powers which must be observed and preserved,” he added.
“As this Administration and its unelected regulators have become increasingly disconnected from the reality of American life and law, it is up to those elected by the people to ensure the federal government stays in check. That’s why the General Assembly passed SJR 2 calling for an amendment to the Constitution for Regulation Freedom and more recently passed SJR 467 calling on the Tennessee Attorney General to sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program,” he concluded.
NOTE: Technically, at issue in the U.S. v. Texas case was (1) Whether a state that voluntarily provides a subsidy to all aliens with deferred action has Article III standing and a justiciable cause of action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to challenge the Secretary of Homeland Security’s guidance seeking to establish a process for considering deferred action for certain aliens because it will lead to more aliens having deferred action; (2) whether the guidance is arbitrary and capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law; (3) whether the guidance was subject to the APA’s notice-and-comment procedures; and (4) whether the guidance violates the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, Article II, section 3.
Norris News – June 14, 2016
Happy Flag Day!
This is Flag Day. It is the day set aside by Congress to salute Old Glory and honor her legacy.
Today, the Stars and Stripes are at half-staff. 239 years after the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag of the United States, we mourn the murders in Orlando by lowering this symbol of freedom, bravery and opportunity in recognition of the loss but with the resolve to defend our homeland and defeat radical Islamic terrorism.
Every day is Flag Day in Tennessee.
Fourteen years ago, I proudly co-sponsored Public Chapter 841 requiring that the Pledge of Allegiance be a part of the daily school schedule, requiring students to learn it and demonstrate their knowledge of it, allowing local school boards to determine the time of day for the Pledge, asking local organizations to provide flags for classrooms, making exemptions for those who object, allowing for disciplinary action to be taken for disruptions, and requiring the state board of education “to develop guidelines on constitutional rights and restrictions relating to the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag in public schools.”
T.C.A. 49-6-1001 requires instruction of the “the uses, purposes and methods of displaying the American flag and other patriotic emblems” as well as the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and other patriotic symbols.
I am proud to salute the American Flag today and every day. As we approach our nation’s 240th Anniversary on July 4, let us recommit ourselves to courage and “to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Norris News – June 1, 2016
June 1, 2016
Celebrate Statehood Day!
220 years ago today, on June 1, 1796, Tennessee was admitted as a state into the Union by an Act of Congress signed by President George Washington. See it here: http://tinyurl.com/tn-1796
Tennessee became the 16th state in the nation.
Thomas Jefferson referred to our Constitution as “the least imperfect and most republican of the state constitutions.”
Article I, Section 1, provides “that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness…”
From Mountain City to Memphis, “the people have the right of exercising sovereignty, and the right of soil, so far as is consistent with the Constitution of the United States, recognizing the Articles of Confederation [and ] the Bill of Rights.” Article I, Section 31.
Since that date in 1796, Tennessee’s history has been full of men and women standing with, and for, the rights of this state, her people and our sister states.
30,000 Tennesseans “volunteered” to help defend Texas during the Mexican-American War. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the thirty-sixth and final state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided women the right to vote. History is replete with similar examples of Tennessee’s devotion to state sovereignty.
The fight to keep Tennessee safe continues.
This year, Rep. Terry Lynn Weaver and I sponsored SJR467 which calls upon the Tennessee Attorney General to enforce our rights as a sovereign state under the Refugee Act of 1980 and the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; to insist that the federal government communicate with us before relocating certain refugees here, and to assure that no expenditure of taxpayers’ funds be coerced by the federal government without lawful appropriation by the Tennessee General Assembly.
With your help, the General Assembly adopted SJR 467 by overwhelming majorities in both the Senate and House.
Earlier this year, we also adopted SJR2, the Regulation Freedom Amendment, and combating federal regulation without representation.
Tennessee became the eighth state in the nation to call for a constitutional amendment requiring that major regulations be approved by a majority vote of Congress.
Just last week, Tennessee joined 10 other states to sue the federal government over President Obama’s transgender bathroom edict.
Nowhere, perhaps, is Obama’s regulatory infringement of our rights more egregious than in “environmental protection.” His Clean Power Plan (111(d)) and Waters of the State regulations are both embroiled in litigation, and the State of Tennessee has intervened in the water case joining states which assert the federal government has gone too far.
Next week, I will participate in two related events.
On Monday, the “CNG from Sea to Shining Sea Road Rally” will cross our state en route from California to Washington, DC to demonstrate that alternative technology applied to existing energy resources is abundant and affordable without resorting to regulatory entanglements that kill jobs and strangle our economy. We will be making stops in Memphis, Trenton and Dickson.
On Tuesday, I’ll testify in Washington before the Regulatory Oversight Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s War on Coal, and some 3,000 EPA regulations are costing Tennesseans thousands of jobs and keeping other businesses from expanding. I’ll be there to remind Congress that states like Tennessee matter. We are not incidental bystanders, and we will not stand for regulation without representation.
This is a day to celebrate our statehood and our sovereignty as a state. It is also a day to be mindful that our Constitution also provides “(t)hat government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”
News from Nashville – May 23, 2016
Norris statement on President Obama’s transgender “guidance letter”
On May 13, the US Department of Education released a guidance letter describing that it would begin enforcing Title IX discrimination policies to require Tennessee schools to allow transgendered students to use the restroom or locker room of their “gender identity” rather than the one that corresponds with their anatomy.
In response Senator Norris gave the following statement:
“I consider the ‘guidance letter’ to be of neither legal force nor effect. A letter is not the law. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has issued the letter as though it were law.
Governor Haslam issued a statement which is a good first step. He states that the guidance letter “does not make any additional requirements under the law” and, although it is “not an enforcement action,” the Governor finds it “heavy-handed.”
The problem is this: if nothing has changed, why did Obama do it? The air needs to be cleared now that this unprecedented guidance has been issued.
It is important for us, as a state, to make it clear that we will not acquiesce in the guidance per se but will, instead, continue to administer our schools in the same non-discriminatory manner as we always have.
We want to make sure that nothing will be done to give this ‘guidance’ any effect. I met with the Attorney General in Nashville this week, and I am confident that it will not.
Norris Refugee Resettlement Resolution Authorized by Haslam
On Friday Governor Haslam reluctantly allowed SJR 467 for the commencement of legal action to force the federal government to comply with the Refugee Act of 1980.
In his statement Governor Haslam said, “I trust the Attorney General to determine whether the state has a claim in this case or in any other, and I have constitutional concerns about one branch of government telling another what to do. I am returning SJR 467 without my signature and am requesting that the Attorney General clarify whether the legislative branch actually has the authority to hire outside counsel to represent the state.”
In response, Senator Norris said, “I am relieved he did not attempt to block us, but we are concerned at the apparent lack of urgency. Recent outbreaks of disease, like measles in Memphis, may be traceable to refugees relocated in our community and elsewhere without adequate vetting. This needs to stop now. The Attorney General needs to do his job or we will find someone else who will.”
National Police Week
Senator Norris was honored to keynote the annual Tipton County Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service on Wednesday May 18.
“We have work to do. It begins anew. Recognizing, as we do here today, those who’ve given their lives that we may live in peace, safety and happiness. And those who give life every day to the cause and commitment to keep Tennessee safe.”