Originally published by Stateman
A federal judge has dismissed Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Austin and Travis County that sought to have Senate Bill 4, the controversial “sanctuary cities” ban, declared constitutional.
Paxton filed the suit against Austin shortly after Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law. Another suit regarding SB 4 is still pending in a federal court in San Antonio.
The ruling paves the way for that suit to take primacy in the fight over SB 4.
“It is what we expected and a step in the right direction, unlike the statewide leaders at the Capitol and Governor’s Mansion, judges have to do their best to make rational decisions,” Austin City Council Member Greg Casar said. “It has been obvious from the beginning that Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against my colleagues was frivolous and without standing to intimidate local officials advocating against Senate Bill 4.”
Paxton’s office had argued that violations to the law were imminent due to Travis County’s enforcement policy regarding so-call detainers placed on local jail inmates suspected of illegal immigration. However, since the law has not taken effect, federal Judge Sam Sparks ruled that Paxton has no standing in the suit.
“The State’s own argument underscores its deficiencies,” Sparks’ ruling said. “Because SB 4 does not take effect until September 1, 2017, it is impossible for Defendants to take any action that would violate the not-yet-effective law. The mere fact that a municipal policy was instituted before a law was signed, or that it remains in place prior to the law taking effect, does not equate to a violation of the law.”
A spokeswoman from Paxton’s office said the attorney general would issue a statement on the ruling soon.
Read more: www.politico.com/story/2017/08/09/trump-immigration-polls-241422