In sanctuary city fight, state loses bid for pre-emptive victory
A federal court Wednesday tossed out Texas’s attempt for a preemptive legal defense of the state’s new antisanctuary city law, shifting the battleground to yet another federal court.
Hours after Gov. Greg Abbott signed the anti-sanctuary law, SB 4, Attorney General Ken Paxton went to a court and asked for a preliminary ruling that it was constitutional. But U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin rejected that move, saying courts aren’t in the business of giving advisory opinions.
The battle now heads to another federal court in San Antonio, where several cities seek to preserve their sanctuary policies in the face of the new law, which is set to take effect Sept. 1.
Mr. Paxton had tried to get the legal battle shifted to Judge Sparks in Austin, but the ruling ends that effort.
“We’re disappointed with the court’s ruling and look forward to pressing our winning arguments in the San Antonio cases and beyond (if necessary) on this undoubtedly constitutional law,” the attorney general said.
Judge Sparks was appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush, while Judge Orlando Garcia, who now becomes the key jurist, was appointed by President Clinton.