Texas AG Ken Paxton: We Were on the Verge of Losing our Constitutional Government

Texas has anywhere between 40-45 lawsuits ongoing against the federal government on any given day. Several of those lawsuits have been won and many could become a moot point with the new administration coming into office in January 2017. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stopped by The Glenn Beck Program to explain how he believes we were on the verge of losing our constitutional form of government, as well as share good news on the topics of amnesty and global warming.

Read below or listen to the full segment for answers to these lawful questions:

• How close were we to losing the separation of powers in Washington, D.C.?

• Why were federal administrative agencies allowed to make 25 times more laws than Congress?

• What was Obama's worst legal defeat in eight years?

• Is Ken Paxton personally responsible for FanDuel leaving Texas?

• Is Ken Paxton for or against Article V and a Convention of States?

Listen to these segments from The Glenn Beck Program:

Below is a rush transcript of segment one, it might contain errors:

GLENN: Attorney general of the great state of Texas, Ken Paxton, a guy who last I saw -- I think we were in 20 different lawsuits against the federal government, were we not?

KEN: Well, the state of Texas has over 40 -- probably around 45. I've sued them about 15 times in about a year and eight months. So it's hard to almost keep track of how many exactly on a given day we have, but it's a lot.

GLENN: Feel free not to answer this, either way -- you know, either way, but was there ever any serious talk at higher levels -- I'm not saying your level or the governor's level, but at higher levels, did you ever hear any serious talk about, there may come a day where we do need to secede?

KEN: So, you know, it's interesting. You hear Californians talk about that now.

GLENN: Right. Oregon too.

JEFFY: Oregon.

KEN: Certainly when I was out campaigning for attorney general, there were people -- there was a secessionist movement. There were people --

GLENN: Oh, but that's Texas. There's always Texans who are like, "What are we part of this Union for?"

KEN: Sure. You're right about that.

GLENN: Right.

(laughter)

KEN: No. Governor Perry made mention of it one time and got a lot of coverage for it. But beyond that, not much --

GLENN: We were trying to get our gold back at one point. Did we ever get that back?

KEN: I think we were trying to do some bank that had our gold. Yeah, I don't think it's ever happened.

GLENN: Yeah, yeah. What a surprise there.

Okay. So tell us the good news. Because you promised me good news.

KEN: So the good news is -- I mean, we were literally on the verge of losing our constitutional form of government, I believe. The separation of powers. The transfer of power from Congress to the courts were going from the administration to all these agencies. He would just issue law, and it would be put through -- instead of going through our representative form of government -- and then Congress would fund it. So we were filing lawsuits, and we were successful in many of these lawsuits in getting preliminary injunctions, which means we stop it for a while. Stays, which means we stop it for a while.

So we stopped, for instance, the amnesty program that Obama tried to put in place at the end of 2014. It was his worst legal defeat in eight years because it slowed everything down. It stopped him from implementing. But the truth was, some of those were really Hail Marys with no receivers out in the coverage. Because if we had lost this election and Hillary had appointed another liberal judge, I'm not convinced that we would have lost many of our freedoms and also this separation of powers. In all these cases where we're trying to control this overreach by the federal government and an out-of-control executive, I think we've had the chance of losing --

GLENN: Tell me how do we -- because I haven't heard anybody talk about this. Right now, the left -- George Soros has called together a convention of the Democrats and the lefties. And basically has said, "How do we stop them from making and reversing all the things that we've done? And how do we get back into power?" Let's just say that Donald Trump is a great president and has eight years, how do we stop this back and forth? Because then what they'll do is then they'll come in and reverse everything that you've done.

KEN: Yeah, I agree. That's a great question.

GLENN: How do we do this?

KEN: So, one, Trump has to immediately rescind these executive actions. That's the first --

GLENN: He said he would do that on day one.

KEN: Right. And that gets rid of our Title 9 issue, the transgendered bathroom issue, that gets rid of the illegal immigration issue that Obama put through. But there's still all these rules that are in place through all these agencies. They have to go back and undo those or at least not defend the lawsuits that they're in.

And then Congress -- this is going to all come back to Congress. They need to pass laws that box in these agencies so that if we end up back with another Democratic president and more liberal courts, they're at least boxed in by the language, the statutes.

GLENN: Right. The law needs to be that the agency can work within it. But if you're doing a regulation, the regulation has to come from Congress.

KEN: Absolutely. So we had, in 2014, 3200 pages of laws passed by Congress. Do you have any idea what the administrative agencies -- that's over 80,000 pages. That's like 25 times more laws from the agencies. That can't keep happening.

GLENN: Did you see TARP? Or, not TARP. The stimulus package when it came out. Did you see the actual printed stimulus?

KEN: I actually did.

GLENN: I did. And didn't it happen, Pat, right before inauguration? It was out already. Or right after. It was within weeks of him getting into the office.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: And we printed it out. And it was huge. And it was sitting on my kitchen table. And we were all taking pieces of it and reading it. And I said, "This isn't six months of work. This has been in the works forever."

And what they have done -- what we have watched them do has been monumental. God only knows, with a brain like Cass Sunstein, what levers they have pulled, that we don't even know they've pulled.

KEN: No. I think you're absolutely right. And you're right. There's no way they developed that in just --

GLENN: No. Years. Years.

KEN: This was designed, setup -- yeah, and they got power and they just did it. Because we have all three branches of government, the Republicans -- there's an opportunity here to at least put the law -- narrow in what all these agencies can do.

GLENN: Will they do it? You and I both know, there's one thing -- there's one thing that was universal in Washington, DC, at least I believe, when Donald Trump won. And that was, because they held on to power. It wasn't about -- for a lot of people in Washington, it was about the Constitution. But I think even more, it was about power. They will do whatever they have to, to hold on to power.

KEN: Yeah. And I just had a meeting with all the Republican AG's in Texas. I hosted an event. And that is -- that was our focus. We are going to continue -- you know, we've been suing the federal government in groups, en masse. Some of these lawsuits have been in 27 states, 25 states, 21 states. We just had one this week that we argued on overtime, where they made up these new overtime rules that are massively going to affect business. We had 21 states in that.

But our message to Congress is, "Please, for the future of our country, go in and reign in these agencies." Because they're basically taking over the legislative branch of government. And for all effects and purposes, even the courts -- because the courts were giving them deference. They weren't even reviewing what these agencies were doing, as much as what Congress did. So we were -- fundamentally losing one of the most important part of our Constitution, which was this idea of separation of powers. Because, ultimately, the Founders, as you know, did not trust power in the hands of too few people. And if they let that go and they don't fix it now, we will get it -- we were that close to losing it. And that's what I think we need to prevent.

GLENN: So what -- what happens to all of the lawsuits now? Can they just be dropped?

KEN: It depends. So the ones that were done by -- so it's so interesting that Obama did a lot of them by executive order, which is very easy to do because he doesn't have to use Congress at all. Those are the easy one to get rid of. Because now Trump can go back and undo them the same way. So hopefully those just go away. The ones that were put through by agencies, through the Administrative Procedures Act, where they actually passed final rules. Went through a comment period and all that, the agency is going to have to come back and undo that. Or the Trump administration can stop defending those lawsuits. I mean, just say, "We're not defending them anymore." And we'll win.

And then the third is like Obamacare. We have our own Obamacare lawsuit. Because in this process, they created new taxes for all the states, which is not in statutes, costing Texas 120 million a year. So it's costing every state millions of dollars. Not in any statute. We're going to have to go back and have Congress undo statutory changes like that. But there were very few statutory changes made. It was all through agencies.

GLENN: When they say we're going to repeal and replace, I've hated that from the beginning because I want the free market to replace. But Donald Trump is -- and so are the G.O.P., they're still doing -- they want the 26 years old and you're still a kid. And you can't turn away somebody for preexisting conditions. So the government is still going to be involved in there. But it's my understanding that they can't just shut it all down now. It's in and it's never really going away.

KEN: Well, I hope that's not true. I think they can over time shut it down. It's obviously not something they're going to shut down in one day. But they need to pass provisions that wean people off of what we have and go to what you're talking about, which is we need to break down barriers across state lines so that we can have competition. We need to do tort reform, like we've done in Texas, which has driven down medical costs in Texas because we don't have these outlandish lawsuits. And we need to have a complete free market reform. Because there is no perfect system. But by far, the best one we have is free market. Nothing --

GLENN: If you were on the other side, what would you be doing right now?

KEN: If I was on the --

GLENN: If you were on the progressive side -- I don't even want to say Democrat. If you were on the progressive, let's destroy the Constitution, and have this an administrative state, what would you be doing?

KEN: Do I have to tell them that?

GLENN: What should we be watching for?

KEN: You know, I would say the key is watching to see if they slow Congress down from making some of these -- Congress doesn't have to do a whole lot to fix this. They can literally just put bounds around what was happening. Because fundamentally Congress was losing all authority.

GLENN: Do you hear anybody in Washington, writing that, talking about that, knowing that, spearheading that?

KEN: I don't know anybody specifically, but they're certainly going to hear from many of the AG's from across the country. Because that's what's we've been fighting for eight years.

GLENN: Okay.

STU: I have one important question I must ask.

JEFFY: I saw this one coming.

STU: This was definitely coming. I want to go to my fancy phone right now, and I want to go and go to my FanDuel app. And I want to enter my FanDuel contest. But when I do that, it tells me I cannot enter in Texas, of all places. The place of freedom --

GLENN: You know what, he would like to do that, and he would like to do that in the Tesla that I can't buy in Texas.

KEN: Sure.

GLENN: Because of the laws in Texas.

STU: Are we getting this stuff cleared up, or what?

KEN: So FanDuel chose to leave Texas. They made a choice based on state law. They were not forced to leave Texas. They chose to leave Texas --

STU: Because they want to be on the right side of you. Right?

KEN: Right. No, not of me.

STU: Not of you. But they want to be on the right side of the government. So they're trying to be as cautious as possible.

KEN: In Texas, you can have a fantasy football league. And you can also have betting in that fantasy football league. But the law is very clear that a third party can't take a cut of that. So that's just Texas law.

my job was to issue an opinion. I was asked, "What's the law in Texas?" And I told them what the law was. None of that is my personal opinion. I write opinions every day that I agree with and don't agree with.

GLENN: So what he's saying is we shouldn't kill him, Stu.

KEN: That's right. Another day.

No. That's up to the Texas legislature. Current law is what it is. And many states have similar laws. So it's not like fantasy sports are outlawed. It's just that you can't have a third party taking a cut.

STU: Okay. So we need to pressure the legislature to change that, and then we can --

KEN: Right. Or just have your own league, where you put your own money in.

GLENN: Are you for Article V? The Convention of States?

KEN: You know what, I'm very open to that. The one challenge though is -- the one challenge I've always wondered about is, if we're not following the Constitution now, what does changing the Constitution -- I mean, how does that fix that? That's my fundamental issue with it. Otherwise, I like it --

GLENN: We would at least be clear on it.

KEN: Look, I love the idea -- I love the balanced budget ideas. I love almost every idea. What I can't figure out is, if you get a president like President Obama who doesn't care about the Constitution, who ignores it anyway, does fixing -- adding some clarity in a certain spot, does that change the fact that he's going to ignore it? We have to have people in office that are going to follow what you write, right? And if they're not going to, how does changing that fix that?

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: Can we go back to what Glenn brought up? I think we're all stunned that Texas, as free as it is here, doesn't allow a free standing car dealership. How is that possible? How can Tesla not be able to come here and not have their own dealership?

[break]

GLENN: Talking to Ken Paxton. He's the attorney general for the great state of Texas. A really good, straight-shooting guy. And I will tell you, it was people like you that made me want to move to Texas. Because I feel that our state is in good hands and we at least abide by the Constitution.

KEN: We want people like you to move to Texas. So we're happy you're here.

GLENN: Good. So can we talk about building the wall on the northern border? It's time to stop all this riffraff from coming in, you know what I mean? Got to keep those New Yorkers and Californians out of here.

KEN: I'm kind of with you.

PAT: So on Tesla. Back to Tesla now.

JEFFY: Thank you.

GLENN: This is really a hot topic for the two of us. We can't believe we live in Texas of all places, and you can't cowboy enough to say, "I want to open up a dealership for Tesla."

KEN: You've got the legislative process to get through.

PAT: It really is illegal to have a free-standing car dealership? How is that --

KEN: So my understanding -- I'm not an expert on this issue.

PAT: Okay.

KEN: My understanding, the manufacturer can't directly sell to the consumer in Texas. I think that's similar to a lot of other states. If people want that -- if they want that changed, the process is set up for the legislature to make the change. But it has to go through --

GLENN: But that was really put -- that was a favor at some point done for the dealerships.

PAT: Yeah. Some massive dealership lobby.

GLENN: Yeah, some massive -- yeah, that came in and said, "Hey, let's make sure that nobody can come in."

PAT: That's crazy.

GLENN: Yeah, it's really foolish.

PAT: Crazy.

STU: In Texas.

PAT: I mean, why?

KEN: But it's around -- it's been around for --

GLENN: Does that make it right, Ken?

KEN: No, I'm not saying it does. No, it's not. I'm just telling you it's been around for a long time. And there is a process --

GLENN: So has cancer.

KEN: Exactly. I'm not disagreeing with cancer.

GLENN: Boils have been around for a very long -- scurvy was with the pirates.

STU: But do you get that a lot though because, you know, I think this is going to happen with Trump too. People are going to be tempted to use all the crazy things that Democrats have done for the past eight years.

GLENN: Just to fix it with a pen.

STU: Do you get that a lot? Do you get people --

KEN: A lot of people want me to do things that is not within my constitutional authority to do because they want me to go fix something. And even though I agree with the topic, I -- it's not my job to fix certain things. My job is to represent the state of Texas in legal actions and to defend the Constitution.

GLENN: That's what -- it, you know, bothered me when I saw that 26 percent of everybody who voted on this last election wanted a strongman. That scared me. We don't want a strongman.

KEN: We had one of those. And he's leaving office.

GLENN: Yeah, we want a strong constitutional viewpoint. We want a strong balance of power.

KEN: We want a strong leader, but we want a strong leader that believes in the separation of powers and does his job in that role. Nothing more, nothing less.

GLENN: How concerned -- how concerned were you with the way the Department of Justice and Comey and everybody else handled this Hillary Clinton thing? I mean, from the outside, it -- I can't understand how somebody who took pictures of their little hovel inside of a submarine went to prison and Hillary Clinton, nothing was wrong. I --

KEN: It's...

GLENN: It was concerning.

KEN: It's hard not to have a lack of trust in the justice system when you see somebody like her not even have a real investigation. You know, he basically came out and said, "Yeah, we are looking into this." And suddenly, they went through 650,000 emails in like, what, two or three days? That's not a real investigation. And so it's hard to trust -- I think that's going to be one of the big functions of this new administration, is dealing with the Department of Justice and fixing some of the corruption --

GLENN: Got to clean it out.

KEN: We have to have confidence in the rule of law, that it's going to be applied fairly to everybody.

GLENN: If the Justice Department -- for the Republicans or the Democrats, anybody, becomes just a tool to persecute or protect, we got nothing. We have nothing left.

KEN: Absolutely. I totally agree with that. Americans know that we've got a problem, I think. I think that may be why we had a change.

GLENN: Thank you so much.

KEN: Absolutely.

GLENN: Thank you for all of the things -- say hi to your wife.

KEN: I will. And y'all have a great Thanksgiving.

PAT: You too.

GLENN: Thank you very much. Okay.

Featured Image: Getty Images

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