Case Status of Sanctuary Jurisdiction Litigation

The following is an overview of litigation concerning “sanctuary jurisdictions” and related issues at both the state and federal levels.

California

City and County of San Francisco v. Trump

3:17-cv-00485-WHO (N.D. Cal.) | Judge William Orrick
Ninth Circuit Appeal Case No. 17-16887

The City of San Francisco filed the lawsuit on January 31, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs argue that President Trump’s Executive Order 13768 violates the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, unlawfully commandeering state and local governments and compelling state and local officials to carry out federal immigration enforcement.

The case was reassigned to Judge William Orrick after he approved a motion to relate the case to County of Santa Clara v. Trump on February 10. A motion by the city of Richmond to relate Richmond v. Trump to the case was also approved on March 23. The judge granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction on April 25 and denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss and motion for reconsideration on July 20.

On November 20, 2017 Judge Orrick granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs and issued a permanent injunction, barring the government from enforcing Section 9(a) of Executive Order against “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Judge Orrick held that that provisions of the Executive Order relating to grant funding infringed on Congress’s spending powers and that the grant funding in question was unrelated to immigration enforcement.

On December 14, 2017 the federal government appealed Judge Orrick’s permanent injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit were held on April 11, 2018.

Current Status: In August, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of San Francisco and Santa Clara, finding the Executive Order’s denial of funds to “sanctuary jurisdictions” to be unconstitutional.

Oral arguments for summary judgment on San Francisco’s and California’s challenges to new Byrne/JAG grant conditions are scheduled for December 10, 2018 before Judge Orrick.

County of Santa Clara v. Trump

3:17-cv-00574 (N.D. Cal.)| Judge William Orrick
Ninth Circuit Appeal Case No. 17-16887

The County of Santa Clara filed the lawsuit on February 3, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs argue that the Executive Order unlawfully compels state and local officials to become agents of the federal government’s immigration agenda, violating core principles of federalism. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Order’s violates constitutional separation of powers, the Tenth Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause.

On February 10, Judge William Orrick approved a related case order, connecting the case to San Francisco v. Trump. The two cases were then assigned to Judge Orrick. On March 1, the YWCA of Silicon Valley filed a motion to intervene and which was denied on May 22. See City and County of San Francisco v. Trump, above, for updates and developments regarding the case. Oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit were held on April 11, 2018.

Current Status: In August, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of San Francisco and Santa Clara, finding the Executive Order’s denial of funds to “sanctuary jurisdictions” to be unconstitutional.

City and County of San Francisco v. Sessions

3:17-cv-04642-WHO (N.D. Cal.) | Judge William Orrick

The City and County of San Francisco filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice on August 11, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In challenging the Justice Department’s imposition of new immigration-related requirements on Byrne JAG grant recipients, the plaintiffs argue that the requirements compel city officials to hold inmates longer than otherwise required, violating the Fourth Amendment. The complaint alleges a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers and spending clauses.

The case was reassigned to Judge William Orrick after he approved, on August 25, the State of California’s motion to relate this case to State of California v. Sessions. On March 5, 2018, Judge Orrick denied the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss, holding that San Francisco had established ripeness and standing.

Current Status: In a hearing on September 5, 2018, Judge Orrick stated that he is inclined to grant summary judgment in favor of California and San Francisco, finding the Justice Department’s new grant conditions invalid.

State of California v. Sessions

3:17-cv-04701 (N.D. Cal.) | Judge William Orrick

The State of California filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice on August 14, 2017, in the Northern District Court of California, challenging the Justice Department’s imposition of new immigration-related requirements on Byrne JAG federal fund recipients. The plaintiffs argue that the requirements usurp Congress’s lawmaking authority, exceed the Justice Department’s statutory authority, and impose arbitrary and capricious conditions. The complaint alleges a violation of the constitutional separation of powers and spending clauses, as well as the Administrative Procedure Act. The plaintiffs also argue that the Justice Department’s requirements force state and local officials to hold detainees past their ordinary release time in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The case was reassigned to Judge William Orrick on August 28 after he approved a motion to relate the case to City and County of San Francisco v. Sessions. On March 5, 2018, Judge Orrick denied the State of California’s motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that the Justice Department’s denial of the grant funds would cause irreparable injury. The court denied the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss on March 5, 2018, maintaining that the plaintiff had ripe claims, injury-in-fact, and well-founded fear of enforcement.

Current Status: Summary judgment hearing was on September 5, 2018. Trial is scheduled for January 28, 2019.

City of Los Angeles v. Sessions

2:17-cv-07215 (C.D. Cal.) | Judge Manuel L. Real

The City of Los Angeles filed the lawsuit on September 29, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, challenging the Justice Department’s imposition of new immigration-related requirements on Byrne JAG federal fund recipients. The plaintiffs argue that the Justice Department’s actions unlawfully and unconstitutionally compel state and local officials to enforce a federal regulatory program by threatening a denial of federal funds. The complaint alleges a violation of the constitutional separation of powers and spending clauses, the Tenth Amendment, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Los Angeles filed but, on October 16, withdrew its motion for a preliminary injunction after the Justice Department disclosed to the city that its FY2017 grant application would be unsuccessful on considerations surpassing immigration-related conditions. On April 11, Judge Real granted partial summary judgment and issued a nationwide permanent injunction barring the Justice Department from giving preferential grant considerations to jurisdictions that assist federal law enforcement on immigration enforcement. Judge Real determined that the policy improperly commandeered state and local officials into carrying out federal immigration enforcement further objected to the executive branch unilaterally creating new grant conditions as being inconsistent with separation of powers principles.

The Justice Department appealed to the Ninth Circuit and filed an unopposed motion to expedite the case. On May 15, the Ninth Circuit granted the motion and calendared the case for oral argument in September 2018.

In July 2018, the City of Los Angeles filed a new motion for preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin new grant conditions sought by the Justice Department.

Current status: The Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments over the motion for summary judgment in September 2018.

U.S. v. State of California

2:18-cv-00490 (E.D. Cal.) | Judge John A. Mendez

The federal government filed the lawsuit on March 6, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, challenging three California laws. The Justice Department argues the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, Assembly Bill 103, and the California Values Act—obstruct the U.S.’s enforcement of federal immigration law and violate the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

On June 20, the district court held oral arguments concerning the Justice Department’s request for a preliminary injunction enjoining the three California laws, arguing that they interfered with the federal government’s enforcement of federal immigration law.

On July 5, the court declined DOJ’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt the California Values Act, stating that California has broad discretion over how it wants to direct its resources towards immigration enforcement. Judge Mendez also determined that S.B. 54 did not violate 8 U.S.C. 1373.

Mendez declined to enjoin Assembly Bill (A.B.) 103, which created a state-run inspection and review of facilities that detain immigrants on behalf of the federal government which includes state-run facilities, but did issue a preliminary injunction against A.B. 450, which prevents private employers from voluntarily cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Current status: The Justice Department filed on appeal with the Ninth Circuit on August 8.

Illinois

City of Chicago v. Sessions

1:17-cv-05720 (N.D. Ill.) | Judge Harry D. Leinenweber
Seventh Circuit Appeal Case No. 17-16887

The City of Chicago filed the lawsuit on August 7, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, challenging the Justice Department’s imposition of new immigration-related requirements on Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) law enforcement grants. The plaintiffs argue that the Justice Department does not have the authority under the Byrne JAG statute to impose the new requirements, that that Justice Department’s actions are unconstitutional on the grounds of the constitutional separation of powers and spending clauses, the Tenth Amendment, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Byrne JAG statute.

Judge Harry Leinenweber issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on September 15. The Justice Department appealed the decision to the Seventh Circuit on September 26 and motioned to stay the district court’s injunction pending the appeal, arguing the injunction should not be applied nationwide. On November 21, the Seventh Circuit denied the Justice Department’s motion for a partial stay of the preliminary injunction.

On April 19, 2018, three-judge panel in the Seventh Circuit upheld the district court’s nationwide preliminary injunction on separation of powers and anti-commandeering grounds: “The Attorney General in this case used the sword of federal funding to conscript state and local authorities to aid in federal civil immigration enforcement. But the power of the purse rests with Congress, which authorized the federal funds at issue and did not impose any immigration enforcement condition on the receipt of such funds.” Two of the three judges on the panel upheld the nationwide scope of the injunction.

On June 18, the Justice Department filed an application to Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan for a partial stay of the nationwide injunction. On June 26, before the issue was resolved by Justice Kagan, the Seventh Circuit temporarily narrowed the scope of the nationwide injunction. The injunction will be limited to apply to Chicago until the full Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, determines whether or not the injunction should apply nationwide.

Current status: The Seventh Circuit dismissed the Justice Department’s appeal of the preliminary injunction against the grant conditions and cancelled the en banc hearing scheduled for September 6 on the scope of the injunction. The Justice Department is expected to appeal.

Evanston & U.S. Conf. of Mayors v. Sessions

1:18-cv-4853 (N.D. Ill.) | Judge Harry D. Leinenweber

On July 16, Evanston, Ill. along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors filed suit against the Justice Department to enjoin it from attaching the three new Byrne JAG conditions. The case resembles City of Chicago v. Sessions.

Current status: On August 9, the district court held that the plaintiffs had standing and issued a preliminary injunction against Sessions, barring the Justice Department from imposing the new grant conditions. The court stayed the preliminary injunction as applied to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, consistent with the Seventh Circuit injunction limiting the scope of the injunction in City of Chicago.

Massachusetts

Cities of Chelsea and Lawrence v. Trump

1:17-cv-10214-GAO (D. Mass.)| Judge George A. O’Toole.

The Cities of Chelsea and Lawrence filed the lawsuit on February 8, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, challenging President Trump’s Executive Order 13768. The plaintiffs argue that the Order unlawfully compels state and local officials to carry out the federal government’s immigration policies by threatening municipalities with a loss of federal funding. The complaint alleges that the Order violates the Tenth Amendment.

Current status: After the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s decision to issue a nationwide preliminary injunction against the Order on April 25 in San Francisco v Trump, the defendants filed an unopposed motion to stay the proceedings of the case on May 2 and which was granted by the court on May 4. The case was administratively closed on December 29, 2017.

New York

New York v. Sessions

1:18-cv-06474 (S.D.N.Y.)| Judge Edgardo Ramos

The City of New York fiuled suit to challenge the Justice Department’s imposition of the three new Byrne JAG grant conditions. New York highlighted Byrne JAG funding as as “important source” of funding for city criminal justice programs and noted that the Justice Department has yet to make a final determination on the status of New York’s FY 2017 Byrne JAG grant application.

Current status: The Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss and/or for partial summary judgment on September 14.

Pennsylvania

City of Philadelphia v. Sessions

2:17-cv-03894 (E.D. Penn.)| Judge Michael Baylson

Appealed to the Third Circuit, Case No. 18-01103

The City of Philadelphia filed the case on August 30, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, challenging the Justice Department’s imposition of new immigration-related requirements on Byrne JAG federal fund recipients. The plaintiffs argue that Justice Department lacks the constitutional and statutory authority to impose the requirements: the department lacks statutory authority under the Byrne JAG statute and its actions usurp the constitutional authority of Congress to allocate federal funds and of state and local governments to administer its own law enforcement. The complaint alleges a violation of the constitutional separation of powers and spending clauses, the Tenth Amendment, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

On November 15, the court issued a preliminary injunction and found that city of Philadelphia was in “substantial compliance” with Section 1373. The Justice Department appealed the district court’s order to the Third Circuit of Appeals on January 16, 2018.

On June 6, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Baylson ruled in favor of Philadelphia, holding that the additional grant conditions were “arbitrary and capricious” and that the Philadelphia policies at issues were lawful and appropriate. He also wrote that it was a “misnomer” to characterize Philadelphia as a “sanctuary city” and ordered the Justice Department to disburse grant funding to the city.

Current status: Third Circuit to hear expedited appeal. Briefing deadline on October 4.

Washington

City of Seattle v. Trump

2:17-cv-00497 (W.D. Wash.)| Judge Richard Jones.

The city of Seattle filed the lawsuit on March 29, 2017, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, challenging President Trump’s Executive Order 13768. The plaintiffs argue that the Order unlawfully compels state and local officials to enforce a federal regulatory program by threatening a denial of federal funds and allege a violation of the Tenth Amendment and Spending Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Richard Jones dismissed the defendants’ motion to dismiss on October 19, maintaining that the plaintiffs’ complaint was ripe, had standing for a declaratory judgment action, and valid claims of constitutional violations.

Current status: The court granted the parties’ joint motion to stay court proceeding on October 31, 2017 pending resolution in Santa Clara v. Trump in the Ninth Circuit.

Texas

City of El Cenizo v.  State of Texas

5:17-cv-00404 (W.D. Tex.) | Judge Orlando Garcia
Fifth Circuit Appeal Case No. 17-50762

The City of El Cenizo filed the lawsuit on May 8, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, challenging Texas’s Senate Bill 4 (SB4) which provides civil and criminal penalties for cities, counties, law enforcement agencies and university police departments in Texas who have or implement new policies that build trust with immigrant communities.

The plaintiffs argue that SB4 is preempted by federal law, violating the Supremacy Clause. The plaintiffs also argue that the bill is a violation of the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Tenth Amendment, and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

On June 6, Judge Orlando Garcia consolidated El Paso v. State of Texas and City of San Antonio v. State of Texas with the City of El Cenizo case, designating the latter as the lead case in consolidation. On August 30, 2017, two days before SB4 was set to go into effect, the court issued a preliminary injunction barring the State of Texas from enforcing the provisions of the bill that are preempted by federal law. The next day, the state appealed the injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. On September 25, the Fifth Circuit granted in part the defendants’ motion to stay the injunction, allowing SB4’s immigration detainer provision to go into effect.

On March 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld most of SB 4, allowing the controversial immigration legislation to take effect while legal challenges continue. On March 28, the city petitioned the Fifth Circuit for a rehearing en banc.

Current status: On May 8, the Fifth Circuit denied El Cenizo’s petition to have the case reheard en banc.

El Paso County v. State of Texas

5:17-cv-00459 (W.D. Texas) | Judge Orlando Garcia

The City of El Paso filed the lawsuit on May 22, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, challenging Texas’s Senate Bill 4 (SB4) which provides civil and criminal penalties for cities, counties, law enforcement agencies and university police departments in Texas who have or implement new policies that build trust with immigrant communities. The plaintiffs argue that SB4 was fueled by racial animus and that is language is unconstitutionally vague, chills policy dissent, and will allow unlawful detention, racial profiling, and unlawful searches and seizures. The complaint alleges a violation of the Supremacy Clause, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as of the Texas Constitution.

On June 6, Judge Orlando Garcia consolidated El Paso v. State of Texas and City of San Antonio v. State of Texas with the City of El Cenizo v. State of Texas, designating the latter as the lead case in consolidation.

Current status: The case was administratively closed on October 24, 2017.

City of San Antonio, et al v. State of Texas, et al.

5:17-cv-00489-OLG (W.D. Texas) | Judge Orlando Garcia

The City of San Antonio filed the lawsuit on June 1, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, challenging Texas’s Senate Bill 4 (SB4), which provides civil and criminal penalties for cities, counties, law enforcement agencies and university police departments in Texas who have or implement new policies that build trust with immigrant communities. The complaint alleges a violation the Supremacy Clause, Contracts Clause, and the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well as Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

On June 6, Judge Orlando Garcia consolidated El Paso v. State of Texas and City of San Antonio v. State of Texas with the City of El Cenizo v. State of Texas, designating the latter as the lead case in consolidation.

Current status: The case was administratively closed on October 24, 2017.

 

Updated September 17, 2018

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