Supreme Court allows enforcement of Texas Law against illegal immigration

 March 20, 2024

The Supreme Court made a decision to deny the Biden Department of Justice's emergency request, which claimed that states had no authority to enforce immigration laws and that doing so would violate the Constitution's Supremacy Clause.

The effect of the ruling is that the high court temporarily halted the law's enforcement, but now Texas will be able to arrest those that local and state law enforcement find to have crossed the border illegally, as The Epoch Times reported.

Justice's Opinions

Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh authored concurring opinions, but the Supreme Court did not give any explanation for its decision. Elena Kagan, Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Sonia Sotomayor—three justices selected by Democrats—dissented.

The decision allows the immigration law to take effect while lower courts review the legislation, which is known as SB4.

The legislation was passed by a Republican-controlled state legislative body last year and signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in late December.

More Opinions

In her concurring opinion, Justice Barrett wrote that the high court has “never reviewed the decision of a court of appeals to enter—or not enter—an administrative stay.”

“When entered, an administrative stay is supposed to be a short-lived prelude to the main event: a ruling on the motion for a stay pending appeal. I think it unwise to invite emergency litigation in this Court about whether a court of appeals abused its discretion at this preliminary step,” she wrote.

Nonetheless, the three dissenting justices criticized the law and claimed it would undermine the power of the federal government.

“The Court gives a green light to a law that will upend the longstanding federal-state balance of power and sow chaos, when the only court to consider the law concluded that it is likely unconstitutional,” Justice Sotomayor wrote in her dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justice Jackson.

Former Judge's Ruling

A federal judge barred the law's enforcement last month, claiming that it would supersede the federal government's immigration powers.

Additionally, Texas argued that the massive influx of illegal aliens into the state is creating an invasion, but the judge rejected their concerns.

In February, U.S. District Judge David Ezra declared that SB4 was unconstitutional under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives the federal government exclusive jurisdiction over immigration issues.

Additionally, the judge dismissed the state's claims that Article IV of the U.S. Constitution applied to the invasion of Texas.

At the time, he argued that if approved, Texas would be able to "permanently supersede federal directives," which would "amount to nullification of federal law and authority." He also claimed that the measure would violate federal immigration laws.

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