Justice Alito Extends Hold on Texas Immigration Law

(HorizonPost.com) – The US Supreme Court on Tuesday denied an emergency request from the Justice Department to block Texas’ new law empowering local law enforcement to arrest illegal aliens at the border while the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case, CBS News reported.

Justice Samuel Alito imposed a temporary two-week pause on March 4 preventing SB4 from taking effect until the full Court could consider the Justice Department’s emergency request.

Alito extended the pause just after 5:00 p.m. on Monday after his initial pause expired, placing the law’s implementation on hold until after the full Court could rule on the DOJ’s emergency request.

In a 6-3 decision on Tuesday, the justices allowed the law to take effect while the 5th Circuit Appeals Court, which is currently considering the legality of SB4, hears the case.

A federal judge blocked SB4 late last month, ruling that the Texas law conflicted with federal immigration statutes.

In early March, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law could go into effect while the case was on appeal. However, the Biden Justice Department filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court asking that the law remain on hold while its lawsuit was heard.

The Department of Justice maintains that the Texas law is in conflict with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration laws and takes no account of US asylum law. The Biden administration also argues that the enforcement of SB4 would further complicate US relations with Mexico.

Under the law, which was signed by Governor Greg Abbott in December, state and local law enforcement would have the authority to detain, jail, and prosecute foreign nationals on charges of illegal entry and reentry. It would also empower state judges with the authority to order illegals to return to Mexico rather than face prosecution on the charges.

In its filing against the state, the Justice Department cited the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that overturned a similar but much broader law in Arizona. In its suit against Texas, the DOJ similarly argued that the federal government had sole authority to enforce immigration laws, including the arrest and deportation of illegal aliens.

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