Judge Blocks Texas Sanctuary City Law; Finds Mandatory Enforcement Of Federal Law Is 'Unconstitutional'

Back in May Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a measure to punish so-called "sanctuary cities," despite pleas from some of the police departments of cities like Austin to halt the bill they said would hinder their ability to fight crime.  You know, because enforcing laws tends to 'hinder' the crime-fighting process.

Per Reuters, the Republican-dominated legislature passed the bill on a party-line vote. Among other things, the bill was designed to punish local authorities who refused to abide by requests to cooperate with federal immigration agents.  Police officials found to be in violation of the law could face removal from office, fines and up to a year in prison if convicted.

The measure also allowed police to ask people about their immigration status during a lawful detention, even for minor infractions like jaywalking.

But, just two days before the bill was set to take effect, Federal Judge Orlando Garcia, a Bill Clinton appointee, has temporarily blocked Abbott's sanctuary city bill on the grounds that it's 'unconstitutional.'  Per the Wall Street Journal:

The League of United Latin American Citizens challenged the Texas law in May on behalf of the city of El Cenizo, a small and largely Hispanic border town. Several other jurisdictions, including the state’s four largest cities—San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas—quickly joined the case.


In his ruling, Judge Garcia, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, said the state legislature has broad authority to enact laws regardless of what the majority of the public thinks, but “may not exercise its authority in a manner that violates the United States Constitution.”


The ruling temporarily blocks provisions of the law that allow for disciplinary action against law-enforcement officials who don’t comply with federal requests to detain illegal immigrants.


It also halts a provision that would prevent municipalities or police agencies from crafting policies that limit cooperation with federal immigration agents and endorsing such policies.


Of course, some law enforcement officials, like "Sanctuary Sally" Hernandez of Travis County (Austin), fought Abbott's legislation from the start and applauded Garcia's decision saying that "local communities are safer and stronger when justice and security are a reality, not for some, but for all."

“The Texas legislature has a reliable history of ignoring the Constitution when writing law, and we’re thankful the court blocked SB4 before it could do irreparable damage to our communities,” said Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.


Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, a Democrat who ordered her department to stop detaining illegal immigrants for federal immigration authorities, said Wednesday that “local communities are safer and stronger when justice and security are a reality, not for some, but for all.”


Not surprisingly, Governor Abbott had a slightly different opinion...

Mr. Abbott, a Republican, said Wednesday that Judge Garcia’s ruling “makes Texas less safe.”


“Because of this ruling, gang members and dangerous criminals, like those who have been released by the Travis County sheriff, will be set free to prey upon our communities,” he said.

We apparently missed the part in our Civics 101 class where we discussed police departments and their ability to unilaterally pick and choose which laws they're going to enforce...hopefully someone can explain how that works?


NoDebt Honey-Badger (not verified) Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:27 Permalink

"We apparently missed the part in our Civics 101 class where we discussed police departments and their ability to unilaterally pick and choose which laws they're going to enforce...hopefully someone can explain how that works?"Being a lib means never having to say you're sorry.  And they recognize no authority but their own.  

In reply to by Honey-Badger (not verified)

Manthong Swampster (not verified) Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:25 Permalink

  SCOTUS needs to put these district court judges in their place as they regularly overstep their bounds. This is the Executive's call, not theirs. They invent Constitutionality according to their liberal bias.
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I wonder if the Administration and DOJ is competent enough to protect their own authority and interests.  

In reply to by Swampster (not verified)

Hail Spode Bes Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:36 Permalink

Yep, you get it. If it stood then the feds could bribe the states to enforce any law it wanted and local refuge from said law would go away. This time the localities are defending a group I don't care for- illegal aliens. But next time the localities could be defending a group I do care for. Cities and counties should not be coerced into enforcing federal law. Even one I agree with.If your county judge or Mayor is doing the wrong thing, don't ask the State Capitol to fix it. You fix it, either by working to elect someone else or moving to a place where the population is more in line with your values. That's the only way to see whose values work, which policies produce prosperity or ruin. 

In reply to by Bes

Blankone Hail Spode Thu, 08/31/2017 - 11:23 Permalink

I thought this ruling was about a State law that was passed by the legislative branch of the State of Texas, not in regards to a law passed at the federal level in DC.

This ruling means that the State gov cannot force any Texas law enforcement office (Sheriff office or local police dept) to enforce any law, federal or otherwise.

While the local LE cannot break the laws themselves they are now free to turn a blind eye to all criminal activities that the local population, mayor, city council feel should be allowed as they support their social justice views. Welcome to San Jose, Berkeley, etc..

The citizens of Texas and Tejas do not even see it coming. The latins are going to spontaneous activate themselves and have it their way. They will justify it, claim historic abuse, that it is now "their turn", and will be cruel.

"Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, a Democrat who ordered her department to stop detaining illegal immigrants for federal immigration authorities"

1. Houston is taken, the Sheriff is a woman, a Latin, SJW, and directing the deputies in a way to support a political agenda.
2. This is not the only case of a woman Sheriff, who is a known SJW using the deputies is such a way. (Austin for example?)
3. It really is not about "illegals" it is about Latins. Bringing in latins to dominate. Try dropping a steady stream of Arabs or Nigerians into Travis county in the same magnitudes the latins have arrived in and see her response.
4. Go to rural Sheriff depts in Tejas and take a look at who runs the show. As a movement grows they will allow their fellow latins to abuse the whites, starting with those who have been vocal opponents.

In reply to by Hail Spode

Oldwood Blankone Thu, 08/31/2017 - 11:47 Permalink

Affirmative action.Justice for them is control, domination, power, just as it has been for blacks.It is ALL about retribution, those on the bottom demanding first equality, but eventually (and ALWAYS) to be on top. The difference is progressivism abandons nature means of defining who is on top, defying COMPETITION as the only methodology. Instead the rule of power politically is tasked with redistribution, and this is NOT about money. We have seen unprecedented transfered of wealth, yet the poor remain poor. Simply leveling results does not work as competition remains that continually, almost regardless to the level of redistribution, winners win and losers are STILL losers. Money is not enough. Instead they must use the power that a supposedly free democracy can provide. One with corrupt judges and public servants that can coerce any action into destruction for what they cannot defeat.Our Constitution was designed to attempt a level playing field, equal OPPORTUNITY for all. Given opportunity does not produce success for losers, it MUST be corrected. Punish winners while piling on guilt to induce the winners to stand down, to capitulate and surrender.If ANYINE thinks this path will lead to ANYTHING different than we see in AFRICA, they are simply STUPID. Humanity does not change. Everyone wants to be a winner, and if they can't earn it, they will try to take it, and a tyrannical government empowered to do so LEGALLY is plan A.

In reply to by Blankone

Hail Spode Blankone Thu, 08/31/2017 - 12:40 Permalink

"While the local LE cannot break the laws themselves they are now free to turn a blind eye to all criminal activities that the local population, mayor, city council feel should be allowed as they support their social justice views. Welcome to San Jose, Berkeley, etc.." The ONLY thing wrong with that concept is that if conservative counties and cities tried to turn a blind eye to federal laws they did not like then the system would hammer them. The ONLY problem with this turn of events is its uni-directionality. No level of government should be compelled to expend resources enforcing laws that a higher level of government wants. Now if the state of Texas wants those laws enforced badly enough then I suppose it can send in Texas Rangers to enforce them, but no, they should not be able to compel cities and counties to enforce them if their populations do not want them enforced. Make sure there is so much friction in the system that the wheels of tyranny sieze up. The ONLY thing conservatives should be protesting over this is that FEDGOV has applied this principal in a uni-directional manner. Lefites can ignore federal law but conservative localities would get hammered if they tried to do the same. LOCALISM a philosophy of government http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0GACAQ

In reply to by Blankone

TimmyB Blankone Thu, 08/31/2017 - 13:15 Permalink

There doesn't seem to be a violation of the US Constitution when a state passes a law requiring the state and all its subdivisions (cities, towns, counties, ect.) to comply with certain federal government requests.

The Constitution prohibits the federal government from forcing a state to comply with its law enforcement requests. However, it allows a state to comply if the state wants to. Here, the state wants to. Thus, this ruling will be overturned by a higher court.

In reply to by Blankone

TheReplacement Hail Spode Thu, 08/31/2017 - 12:48 Permalink

It seems simple enough then.  Texas should craft their own citizenship/immigration laws and require local law enforcement to enforce the local law.  As per this court's decision, Federal Law has no bearing unless it is the Constitution talking so even if there is a Federal law that prohibits Texas from doing this it simply isn't enforceable at the local level.Catch-22.

In reply to by Hail Spode

Oldwood Bes Thu, 08/31/2017 - 11:29 Permalink

If federal law has no force over state and local law, who or what do they have authority over?I would think that the US Constitution supercedes state Constitutions. Our US Constitution defines it's powers over the states, and one of its principle authority is over borders and immigration. States should have authority over their own borders unless those borders are national and not local.It is another false comparison to conflate the "slippery slope" regarding federal laws regarding immigration and those we face in regard to personal liberties....a slope you have slid all the way to the bottom. Illegal immigrants have no constitutional rights or liberties, and are subject to the same laws as citizens. I support law and order CONSTITUTIONAL, but instead we only seem to enforce laws that protect illegal behavior and publish those who follow and support the law.Anarchists do not want to eliminate government or collect power, they simply want to change it BY FORCE to have THEM in charge.

In reply to by Bes

TimmyB Oldwood Thu, 08/31/2017 - 13:47 Permalink

The issue here is whether under our Constitution the federal government can force state officials, including the local police, to enforce federal laws. If you want the federal government to be able to order your local taxes to be spent by your local police department to enforce federal laws, then good for you. But our Constitution doesn't allow that and rightfully so. The federal government cannot force states to spend state tax money on enforcing federal laws.

Under our Constitution, the federal government can enforce laws two ways. It can give states money to enforce those laws, but the state can decide to accept the money and enforce those laws or not take the money and not enforce those laws. The second way is that the federal government can hire federal agents and employees to enforce its own laws.

This being said, the Constitution allows Texas to voluntarily enforce federal laws. It also allows Texas to pass laws forcing its political subdivisions to accept federal money to enforce federal laws. Thus, this ruling will soon be overturned.

In reply to by Oldwood

LightBulb18 Bes Thu, 08/31/2017 - 18:14 Permalink

If an American judge refuses to uphold the laws of the country he should loose his job. If he continues to lie to peoples faces and speak gibberish like upholding the law is unconstitutional perhaps he should be held in contempt of the office. If you have no valid legal justification for your positions then you have no ability to practice law in government. Stupidity, kindness, and preferences for the latino race are not justifications for exerting power over others and are in fact discrimination. These idiot leftist racists don’t even know that all 20+ latino countries oppose open borders, and owned far more slaves than americans for far longer, and fought to maintain the practice and still have more radical racial inequality today. The American media should not be allowed to own A monopoly on the television news and make such gigantic omissions. In God I trust.

In reply to by Bes

chubbar duo Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:56 Permalink

What the libtards think is that the civil war was fought over slavery, hence the reason for the removal of the monuments. Tell a lie often enough and everyone will start to believe it.Either way, the rule of law is finished, as is our country. The fucking liberals in this country are going to reap the whirlwind when this shit show finally gets going. Look at the fucking retarded white libtards looking all astonished when they are attacked while out watching these asshole antifa beating people. All of a sudden it dawns on them that in fact none of these antifa/BLMers give a sweet shit what their thoughts are or how they voted, they are going to get beaten either way. Honestly, there isn't a brain cell between these fuckers. I have more animosity towards the white people supporting this shit than I do the minorities asking for the free shit and to jump the line on jobs, etc., because of their skin color. This is fucking insane now.

In reply to by duo

Colonel chubbar Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:19 Permalink

"Tell a lie often enough and everyone will start to believe it." It works because there is tested psychology behind it and when you add into the brainwashing an authoritative aspect ie... asswipes in government/suits on tv there isn't much else you have to do to seal the deal, oh yeah and most people are sheeple too. Game set match.

In reply to by chubbar

bowie28 Payne Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:06 Permalink

Mixed feelings about this.  Anything that challenges or weakens fedgov mandates is good in some ways. Just cut off all the fed aid to their LE and welfare programs and let them do what they want.  Everyone with means will move out, their taxbase will evaporate, and they will learn firsthand what a sanctuary city truly is.And how about applying this logic to ACA and have states just pull out of it completely citing constitutional authority?  I wonder if the people applauding this ruling would feel the same way. 

In reply to by Payne

Stackers NoDebt Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:40 Permalink

This judge is twisting the law. The federal government cannot force local law enforcement to assist federal agencies. This is true. But this not the federal government, this the state government forcing its own police to assist federal agencies, and this they can do under the Constitution.

In reply to by NoDebt

StarGate NoDebt Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:41 Permalink

There is an interesting report that encouraged researchers to look into each of the Mayors of "Sanctuary Cities"/SC. Per this reported claim each SC Mayor functions as a Mob Boss for a variety of criminal operations and use the unlawful "sanctuary" non-law ploy to cover-up and to prevent federal law enforcement from seeing inside their operations.

Per that reporter there is a long range plan to disrupt USA unity via these UNholy "sanctuary city" operations when they erupt futuristically in unison to further breakdown law and order and USA civil structure. They are "CELLS" thru out USA per that reporter.

Based on this ZH report above it seems the Clinton Obama Judges are part of the long range plan and anything that fosters law abiding procedures will be blocked under color of phony non existent law by these Judges.

In reply to by NoDebt