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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Why Texas can ban sanctuary cities

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes opposed overturning legislation by judicial fiat.

"If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It’s my job," Holmes once said.

Chief Justice John Roberts had the same attitude in deciding the fate of Obamacare in 2012.

"When a court confronts an unconstitutional statute, its endeavor must be to conserve, not destroy, the legislation. ... Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices," Roberts wrote.

Democrats cheered. Republicans groused. And now the roles reverse themselves as the court considered the state law banning sanctuary cities that serve as hideouts for criminals.

"A federal appeals court on Tuesday formally overturned nearly all of an injunction that a U.S. District Court judge issued last year against a Texas immigration law aimed at blocking local governments in the state from adopting so-called sanctuary policies," Politico reported.

The judiciary is following the lead of John Roberts, which makes sense as he is at least the titular head of the third branch of government.

A lower court had enjoined the state from banning cities from violating federal law.

The state appealed. A three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit unanimously overturned the lower court. An appeal to the full Fifth Circuit is likely. Judge Don Willett is on that court.

Elections have consequences.

I like this one.


  1. Back in the day, Cali was the state that was coming up with conservative Propositions and wowing the gulls. No longer. Cali is now a shithole. Literally. Texas has assumed the States Rights leadership mantle. Give Em hell, Horns!

  2. Thankfully this was not the 9th circuit. Sanity rules.

  3. "When a court confronts an unconstitutional statute, its endeavor must be to conserve, not destroy, the legislation"

    This quote is why Roberts is not fit to sit on the SCOTUS. The job of the Court is to ensure that the laws of the nation follow the Constitution. If a statute is unConstitutional, then the Court is obliged to say so and void the statute. If courts do not follow the Constitution but allow unConstitutional laws to stand, then we are no longer a nation of laws but of political whimsy. And, might I say, there would no longer be any need for most courts to exist, so they should be abolished by Congress, which is within its enumerated Constitutional powers.

    As for the Obamacare law, Roberts did no such thing as exercising judicial restraint so the fight over the law could be worked out in the political sphere. He ignored everything the Democrats had said publicly about the law's individual mandate. He applied his own interpretation of it as a "tax" when the public record was clear that the Democrats had continually argued it was not a tax (a ploy they used to ensure the laws's passage). And to add a further insult, in a later ruling the Court ignored the clear language of the law that restricted insurance subsidies only to states that created their own insurance exchanges. Instead, the SCOTUS extended the subsidies even to the Red states that left it to the Federal government to create an exchange. In doing so, the Court ignored the stated Congressional intent of this provision to force states create their own exchanges in order to qualify for federal subsidies.

  4. I dunno about Justice Roberts, Don. That Obummercare decision stunk to high heaven. I've always wondered if the Obama machine didn't have some dirt on the Chief Justice.

    Sanctuary cities seem unconstitutional on the face of it to me.

  5. It would be in the spirit of the Texan judgements if the Federal appeals judge would conclude with “Your injunction against Texas is overturned, bless your heart.”

  6. "When a court confronts an unconstitutional statute, its endeavor must be to conserve, not destroy, the legislation"

    Does the court do so by "fixing" the wording of the law so that it passes legal muster? Isn't that what conserving the legislation means? It sounds like he thinks the Court is entitled to legislate as well as adjudicate.