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5th Circuit reinstates Texas anti-sanctuary cities law

5th Circuit reinstates Texas anti-sanctuary cities law

Big victory for crackdown on illegal immigration.

In May 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law bill SB4, which denied state funding to sanctuary cities.

We wrote at the time:

Senate Bill 4 requires state law enforcement, including campus cops, to comply with federal immigration law and prohibits municipalities from creating policies or regulations that circumvent established federal laws. The bill specifically prohibits discrimination and allows the state to levy civil penalties on non-compliant entities.

After the House approved changes made in the Senate, Senate Bill 4 heads to Governor Abbott’s desk.

“Banning sanctuary cities is about stopping officials who have sworn to enforce the law from helping people who commit terrible crimes evade immigration detainers. Senate Bill 4 protects all Texans though uniform application of the law without prejudice,” said state Sen. Perry.

In August 2017, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction halting the law.

The 5th Circuit issued a stay of the injunction, pending a decision on the merits. That decision was just handed down, and the law was almost completely reinstated. Politico reports:

A federal appeals court on Tuesday formally overturned nearly all of an injunction that a U.S. District Court judge issued last year against a Texas immigration law aimed at blocking local governments in the state from adopting so-called sanctuary policies.

The ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was not a surprise, because that court issued a stay last September allowing the bulk of the Texas law, known as Senate Bill 4, to take effect. However, the decisions came from two separate three-judge panels of the appeals court.

The new decision largely tracked with the earlier stay, finding legally problematic only one part of the Texas law that prohibited local officials from taking any steps to “endorse” a sanctuary policy.

The 5th Circuit decision (pdf.) is embedded in full at the bottom of this post. The Court found no likelihood that the plaintiffs would ultimately succeed on the merits of the case:

The plaintiffs have not made a showing that they are likely to succeed on the merits of any of their constitutional claims except as to the enforcement of Tex. Gov’t Code § 752.053(a)(1)’s “endorse” provision against elected officials. The foregoing discussion demonstrates there is no merit in their remaining arguments, and none of the other challenged provisions of SB4 facially violate the Constitution.

The Statesman reports on the reactions:

Attorney General Ken Paxton cheered the ruling.

“I’m pleased the 5th Circuit recognized that Senate Bill 4 is lawful, constitutional and protects the safety of law enforcement officers and all Texans,” Paxton said. “Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes. Dangerous criminals shouldn’t be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes.”


Texas SB4 Sanctuary Cities Case – 5th Circuit Order Reinstating Law 3-13-2018 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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Are leftists going to be hoisted by the petard of the Arizona v United States immigration decision

    Milhouse in reply to dystopia. | March 14, 2018 at 3:29 am

    No, it’s got nothing to do with that. The state is not enforcing federal law, it’s choosing to help the feds do so, and ordering its subsidiaries to cooperate. It’s been black-letter law since at least the 1830s that it’s entirely up to a state whether it wants to allow its subsidiaries to help the feds, compel them to do so, or forbid them from doing so. It’s therefore been completely obvious from the start that the TX legislature has the full authority to make this law, for the exact same reason that the CA legislature has the full authority to make the opposite law. The challenges are frivolous, and were always eventually going to be struck down.

    I wasn’t aware of the “endorse” provision until now, and yes, it seems obvious that that’s problematic and will probably be struck down. The state can order its subsidiaries to help the feds enforce their laws, but it can’t order them to agree with that decision. The subsidiaries have to comply with the law, but they’re entitled to complain about it.

      dystopia in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2018 at 6:57 am

      I guess the Fifths Circuit’s reliance on Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. 387, 398, 132 S. Ct. 2492, 2500 (2012). was mistaken. Please inform the Court.

        Milhouse in reply to dystopia. | March 14, 2018 at 7:52 am

        You have it exactly backwards. This decision does not rely on Arizona. The challengers relied heavily on a mistaken view of Arizona, and this decision corrects them. Arizona basically says states can’t help the feds enforce federal law if the feds don’t want that help. Under 0bama they didn’t; under Trump they do, and nothing in Arizone either prohibits such help, or prohibits the state from requiring it.

          dystopia in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2018 at 10:09 am

          A saccharine simplistic view of Arizona v United States. In fact the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a key provision of the Arizona Law: the mandate that law enforcement officers check the immigration. status of suspected illegal aliens. The Texas Law is in harmony with that decision.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2018 at 12:17 pm

          And completely irrelevant to your incorrect point.

          dystopia in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2018 at 1:48 pm

          From the dicta of Arizona v United States.

          The mandatory nature of the status checks does not interfere with the federal immigration scheme. Consultation between federal and state officials is an important feature of the immigration system. In fact, Congress has encouraged the sharing of information about possible immigration violations. See §§1357(g)(10)(A), 1373(c). The federal scheme thus leaves room for a policy requiring state officials to contact ICE as a routine matter

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm

          Which shows exactly what I wrote: The court in this decision does not rely on Arizona but rather rejects the challenge which falsely claims to rest on that decision.

          dystopia in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2018 at 7:14 pm

          My point is apparent to just about everyone but you. Too bad for you.

          clerk in reply to Milhouse. | March 14, 2018 at 7:31 pm

          Which shows exactly what I wrote: The court in this decision does not rely on Arizona but rather rejects the challenge which falsely claims to rest on that decision

          Nope. The Fifth Circuit wrote:

          The plaintiffs’ arguments fail for two reasons. First, recent Supreme Court decisions in this area undermine this implied congressional purpose. In Arizona, for instance, the Supreme Court upheld state laws mandating immigration-status inquiries.

          Instead of posting again; why not use that energy to go to law school so you will avoid pitfalls that earn you the opprobrium of the entire legal insurrection community.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | March 15, 2018 at 3:15 am

          Clerk, 1. That’s an aside, not the holding. 2. The court is telling the challengers, “look, even your own supposed source doesn’t support you”.

          clerk in reply to Milhouse. | March 15, 2018 at 4:56 am

          Alright, so your sweeping characterization was not accurate. Hopefully you will learn to actually respect others arguments.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to dystopia. | March 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    How dare you argue with a bona fide internet know it all and expert like Milhouse.

    Don’t you know how long he studied law, how many degrees he has, and how many cases he has briefed, argued, and won?

This seems like BIG news to me. Therefore, I do not expect to hear about it after then next 24 hours.

yay Fen wont have to kill a bunch of bureaucrats for harboring fugitives that raped and murdered his family.

Everyone wins. Fen wins. The bureaucrats win. The bureaucrats loved ones win. And most especially, fens wife wins twice over – she doesn’t get raped and murdered, and God know why she loves him but she doesn’t have to worry about him spending the rest of his life in prison after she’s gone.


Hmmm. Anybody want some extra Det cord?

How have we gotten to the point where we are now promulgating laws that state how everyone must comply with existing law?

    Milhouse in reply to Cleetus. | March 14, 2018 at 7:55 am

    We’re not. It is completely uncontroversial that, absent state legislation, it’s entirely up to local authorities whether to cooperate with federal law enforcement or to refuse such cooperation. As this decision emphasizes, Congress cannot compel local authorities to cooperate. State law can either compel such cooperation, or it can forbid it. CA has chosen to forbid it; that’s entirely within its rights. TX has chosen to require it, and that’s equally within its rights.

    amwick in reply to Cleetus. | March 14, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Interesting question.

    Slippery slope… hmmmm I think things started sliding when some person decided to self-identify as …………. (fill in the blank) and successfully filed lawsuits that supported them. That, or maybe when people from the LGBTAXYZ community got pissed about their wedding cakes, or event photographers… Things definitely got worse when snowflakes shut down free speech with impunity, something like that.

    So now, one court must rule, not whether or not a law is legit, but that the law should be followed. Kinda sad, when you look at the big picture..

    Pinpointing when this all started is harder than I thought. It would seem that we are currently sliding down a mountain range of slippery slopes.

smalltownoklahoman | March 14, 2018 at 8:49 am

Double win, one for the state of Texas and one for our nation as a whole! ICE is still understaffed so having as much cooperation from our border states as they can get is a big help to them.

This sets up a good experiment. Time to sit back and watch for how stuff plays out in TX vs CA. Will the illegals start to move west?

    Ragspierre in reply to MajorWood. | March 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I’ll risk a prediction that Texas sees an exodus of illegals…especially criminals…to wherever they find a gradient that favors them.

Now to shift the focus to emigration reform. One, two, is normal. One thousand, one million, is an exodus, and evidence of catastrophic warming or climate [change].