Justice Department sues over SB4

As they had threatened to do.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Texas on Wednesday over a new state law that allows Texas police to arrest migrants suspected of crossing the Texas-Mexico border illegally.

“Texas cannot disregard the United States Constitution and settled Supreme Court precedent,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “We have brought this action to ensure that Texas adheres to the framework adopted by Congress and the Constitution for regulation of immigration.”

The lawsuit was filed in an Austin federal court and names Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw. It asks the court to declare the state law unconstitutional and prevent Texas from implementing it.

The law, which is scheduled to take effect March 5, would make it a state crime to cross the Texas-Mexico border between ports of entry.


This is the second legal challenge to Texas’ new immigration law. In December, ​​the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit on behalf of El Paso County and two immigrant rights organizations — El Paso-based Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and Austin-based American Gateways — asking a federal judge in Austin to prevent Texas from implementing SB 4 and declare it unlawful.

See here for more on that earlier lawsuit. My prediction is the same as for that one: The plaintiffs will get their restraining order, the Fifth Circuit will put the restraining order on hold, and nobody knows what SCOTUS will do. Buckle up.

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One Response to Justice Department sues over SB4

  1. C.L. says:

    This should be a slam dunk – am pretty sure the Federal Govt holds the authority associated with cross-border traffic, not the States.

    But FFS, folks – something needs to be done here.

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