Of the 50 state governors currently serving in America, none are greater than Governor Greg Abbott of Texas. He is the ultimate embodiment of courage, determination, and strong leadership. The Lone Star State Republican has been confined to a wheelchair since 1984, but that hasn’t stopped him from passionately defending the U.S. Constitution and conservative principles like limited government and states’ rights. Governor Abbott has not been afraid to make waves during his time in office, and he has set the bar high for all current and future governors in America.
Governor Abbott was inaugurated for his first term in January 2015, following the 14-year reign of Governor Rick Perry. Prior to being elected governor, he served for 12 years as the Attorney General of Texas. He also served as an Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1995 to 2001.
He began his term as governor with a bang when he signed into law two controversial bills on June 13, 2015: one to allow students at public colleges in Texas to carry concealed handguns, and one to allow Texans to openly carry handguns in all areas where concealed carry was in effect. In keeping with his strong record of defending the Second Amendment as Attorney General, Governor Abbott stood up to gun control advocates and protected Texans’ right to keep and bear arms.
While speaking to the Texas Public Policy Foundation on January 8, 2016, Governor Abbott laid out the “Texas Plan,” his idea to call an Article V convention of states to clean up Washington, D.C., and to restore the integrity of the Constitution as it was written. Under Article V of the Constitution, Congress has the ability to convene a convention of states to propose new amendments, which would then need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states in order to take effect.
The federal government that we know today has trampled on the Constitution time and again, turning it into something barely recognizable. For example, President Obama has unconstitutionally issued scores of executive orders on matters of policy like climate change, immigration, and healthcare. Congress has violated the Constitution too many times to count as well, like when it passed the Affordable Care Act and gave the federal government jurisdiction over healthcare. The Supreme Court has also perverted the Constitution, most recently when it stripped states of their right to determine their own marriage laws in Obergefell v. Hodges.
To restore our Founders’ vision of a limited federal government, Governor Abbott proposed nine new amendments to the Constitution:
- Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
- Require Congress to balance its budget.
- Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from creating federal law.
- Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from preempting state law.
- Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
- Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law.
- Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
- Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
- Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.
— Convention of States (@COSProject) November 28, 2016
Simply put, the Texas Plan is the strongest assertion of states’ rights that any governor has made in recent years.
On September 30, 2016, Governor Abbott announced that Texas was withdrawing from the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program due to major security concerns. In a statement, he said, “I will continue to prioritize the safety of all Texans and urge the federal government to overhaul this severely broken system.” Senior federal government officials, like FBI Director James Comey, have admitted under oath that the program is not secure and that terrorists would likely seek to infiltrate it. Governor Abbott stepped up to the plate and did what President Obama still refuses to do: he took major steps to ensure the safety and security of 27 million Texans. Other governors would do well to follow his example and withdraw their states from the program.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 28, 2016
On November 27, 2016, Governor Abbott announced on Twitter that he would sign a law banning sanctuary cities in Texas. Sanctuary cities are so named because they shield illegal aliens from deportation, and there are more than 300 of them around the country. After Donald Trump won the presidential election with a promise to cut all federal funding to such cities, many prominent mayors, like New York City’s Bill DeBlasio and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, announced that their cities would remain havens for illegal aliens.
In an interview with Lou Dobbs, Governor Abbott described the situation as “anarchy,” saying that “when people can decide which laws they will follow and which laws they will not follow, that means it’s every man for himself under the legal system. That’s not the way the United States was constructed.” Governor Abbott is taking decisive action to ensure that cities in Texas follow the law and that no more Americans, like Kate Steinle of San Francisco, are killed by illegal aliens who are left on our streets.
Whether it is fighting to protect the Second Amendment, the concept of federalism, or the safety and security of 27 million Texans, Governor Abbott has demonstrated time and again that he is a strong leader who is unafraid to fight for conservative principles. In less than two years in office, he has accomplished more than most governors do in two terms, and he has made countless liberal heads spin in the process. The Lone Star State is lucky to have Governor Greg Abbott. His example is one that all current and future U.S. governors would be wise to follow.