Home » District Court Enjoins S.B. 4, the Texas Immigration Enforcement Law

District Court Enjoins S.B. 4, the Texas Immigration Enforcement Law

Back in December, after Texas Governor Abbott signed into law an immigration enforcement law, S.B. 4, Josh Blackman and I had dueling posts (Josh’s here, mine here) on whether S.B. 4 was preempted by federal law under the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States (2012).

In light of that exchange, I thought I might point out that today, in United States v. Texas, Judge David Ezra preliminarily enjoined S.B. 4.

From the opinion:

Several factors warrant an injunction. First, the Supremacy Clause and Supreme Court precedent affirm that states may not exercise immigration enforcement power except as authorized by the federal government. Second, SB 4 conflicts with key provisions of federal immigration law, to the detriment of the United States’ foreign relations and treaty obligations. Third, surges in immigration do not constitute an “invasion” within the meaning of the Constitution, nor is Texas engaging in war by enforcing SB 4. Finally, to allow Texas to permanently supersede federal directives on the basis of an invasion would amount to nullification of federal law and authority—a notion that is antithetical to the Constitution and has been unequivocally rejected by federal courts since the Civil War.

In response to the new decision, Governor Abbott issued a statement declaring that “Texas will immediately appeal this decision, and we will not back down in our fight to protect our state—and our nation—from President Biden’s border crisis.”

Stay tuned, as always.


February 2024