Texas Win: Appeals Court Allows Law Authorizing Arrest of Illegals to Take Effect Barring SC Intervention

AP Photo/Eric Gay

On Thursday, we brought you news of a federal District Court ruling out of Texas that blocked the state's recently enacted law (Senate Bill 4), which allowed state law enforcement officers to arrest and detain those suspected of entering the country illegally. In his ruling, Judge David Ezra held that the provision was an improper attempt by Texas to supersede federal law.



Federal Judge Stays Texas Law Giving Law Enforcement Broad Powers to Arrest Suspected Illegal Immigrants

Monday, in addition to the blockbuster ruling out of the United States Supreme Court regarding the Colorado ballot case involving former President Donald Trump, comes big news out of the Fifth Circuit regarding the aforementioned Texas law. 

The appellate court has now placed a stay on the District Court ruling, though it has put its own ruling on hold for seven days to allow the Biden administration time to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

A federal appeals court granted a temporary stay of a lower court’s decision to block the enforcement of a controversial Texas immigration law, paving the way for it to go into effect this week if the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene.

Last week, a federal judge in Austin, Texas, blocked the state government from implementing Senate Bill 4, which would allow state law enforcement authorities to arrest and detain people they suspect of entering the country illegally.

Judge David Alan Ezra wrote in his Thursday decision to halt the law that “If allowed to proceed, SB 4 could open the door to each state passing its own version of immigration laws.”

Texas appealed the ruling, with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott saying, “We will not back down in our fight to protect our state — and our nation — from President Biden’s border crisis.”

Over the weekend, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of Ezra’s decision but put its ruling on hold for seven days, allowing time for the Biden administration to go to the Supreme Court.

The law remains blocked only until March 9 unless the Supreme Court keeps it on hold. It was originally set to go into effect March 5.


That's a lot of moving procedural parts, so here it is in a nutshell:

  • Texas enacted a law that allowed state law enforcement officials to arrest and detain people suspected of having entered the country illegally
  • The Biden administration and various immigration advocacy groups sued the state over the law
  • The federal District Court judge entered an injunction blocking the law from going into effect
  • Texas appealed that ruling
  • The Fifth Circuit has stayed that District Court ruling (which would allow the law to go into effect) but stayed their own ruling for seven days
  • If the Biden administration doesn't appeal (though it probably will), the law goes into effect March 9th
  • If the Biden administration does appeal, we'll have to wait and see whether the Supreme Court agrees to keep the law on hold pending the appeals process or allows it to go into effect
  • But the Fifth Circuit ruling goes in the "W" column for Texas (and those who support the state's efforts to arrest/detain those suspected of entering the country illegally)

Okay, that was a bigger nutshell than anticipated. But hopefully, it assists in keeping track of the developments. 


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