Federal Court Rules Against Trump Administration on Most Issues in California "Sanctuary State" Case

The ruling is just the start of what may be a prolonged legal battle over immigration and federalism.



Flag of California.


In a decision issued earlier today, Federal District Judge John Mendez ruled against the Trump administration on most, but not all, of the issues at stake in the federal government's high-profile lawsuit against California's "sanctuary state" laws. The administration is challenging three new California laws: Senate Bill 54, which restricts state and local officials from sharing information about immigrants within the state, with federal agencies; Assembly Bill 103, which requires the state attorney general to inspect any facility in the state where immigrants are detained by federal agents while awaiting immigration court dates or deportation; and Assembly Bill 450, which forbids private employers from cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and audits unless such cooperation is mandated by a court order or a specific federal law. The federal government claimed that all three bills conflict with federal law and are therefore "preempted." As Judge Mendez—a George W. Bush appointee—recognized, the case "presents unique and novel constitutional issues" involving federalism and immigration law. The federal government has stronger claims here than in its efforts to cut federal grants to sanctuary cities by imposing conditions never authorized by Congress, on which the administration has suffered a long series of well-earned defeats in various federal courts.

Today's decision rejects the federal government's request for an injunction blocking enforcement of SB 54 and AB 103. But Judge Mendez did issue an injunction against the main provision of AB 450. Like other sanctuary cases currently in the federal courts, United States v. California raises major constitutional federalism issues that have implications going far beyond immigration issues. If the federal government prevails in these cases, it would have greatly increased leverage to coerce state and local governments.

The Trump administration claims that SB 54 violates federal law because it conflicts with 8 U.S.C. Section 1373, a controversial federal law mandating that "a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual." But Judge Mendez concludes that "the constitutionality of Section 1373 [is] highly suspect" after the Supreme Court's recent decision in Murphy v. NCAA, which struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a federal law barring states that previously prohibited sports gambling from passing laws "authorizing" it. Murphy struck down PASPA because it "unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may and may not do," thereby violating the Tenth Amendment, which the Supreme Court has long interpreted to forbid federal "commandeering" of state governments in order to enforce federal law. As Mendez explains, "Section 1373 does just what Murphy proscribes: it tells States they may not prohibit (i.e., through legislation) the sharing of information regarding immigration status with the INS or other government entities." A recent federal court ruling in a sanctuary city case involving the City of Philadelphia struck down Section 1373 under Murphy. Judge Mendez does not go quite that far, but instead interprets Section 1373 narrowly, so that it does not conflict with SB 54. He rules that Section 1373 does not require disclosure of information about immigrants addresses, release dates, and other matters, but only focuses on "immigration status," narrowly construed. SB 54, Judge Mendez concludes, does not cover the latter type of information.

Mendez also rejected the federal government's claims that SB 54 is preempted by federal laws facilitating the deportation of undocumented immigrants. As he explains, any such preemption would be unconstitutional, because the federal government cannot force states to assist in federal law enforcement efforts: "a Congressional mandate prohibiting states from restricting their law enforcement agencies' involvement in immigration enforcement activities—apart from, perhaps, a narrowly drawn information sharing provision—would likely violate the Tenth Amendment." I think Judge Mendez could have gone further than this, and ruled that there is no information-sharing exception to the anti-commandeering rule, not even a "narrowly drawn" one. But the conclusion he does reach is enough to deal with the claim against SB 54.

Judge Mendez also rejects the federal government's case against AB 103, the detention facility inspection rule. He notes that the inspections required under the bill are similar to those that apply to other law enforcement detention facilities in California, and that they impose little in the way of new burdens on the federal government. They therefore don't conflict with federal law, and do not qualify as unconstitutional discrimination against federal facilities: "[T]he review appears no more burdensome than reviews required under California Penal Code §§ 6030, 6031.1. Thus, even if AB 103 treats federal contractors differently than the State treats other detention facilities, Plaintiff has not shown the State treats other facilities better than those contractors."

The federal government did, however, prevail on one important issue: Judge Mendez granted the request to issue an injunction against AB 450. He did not issue any ruling on the issue of whether AB 450 is preempted by federal immigration law, though he strongly suggests it may not be because, "[I]n preemption analysis, the [Supreme] Court presumes 'the historic police powers of the States' are not superseded 'unless that was the clear and manifest purpose of Congress.'….. [and] Laws governing labor relations and the workplace generally fall within the States' police powers. Congress has not expressly authorized immigration officers to enter places of labor upon employer consent."

Nonetheless, Mendez ruled against California on AB 450 because he concluded it violates the doctrine of "intergovernmental immunity," which bars state laws that "regulate the United States directly or discriminate against the Federal Government or those with whom it deals." AB 450 runs afoul of this because it targets employers who assist the federal government in immigration enforcement.

In my view, Judge Mendez got this part of the decision wrong. As he notes, his ruling expands the definition of "dealing" from entities that have economic or contractual relationships with the federal government, to those that merely provide voluntary assistance. In addition, AB 450 does not "discriminate" against people who "deal" with the federal government because there is no meaningful private-sector analogue to federal immigration enforcement raids. The concept of discrimination implies treating similarly situated entities differently. For example, a state government discriminates against entities that deal with the federal government if it imposes special restrictions on firms that rent cars to federal agencies that don't apply to those that rent the same kinds of vehicles to private parties. But there is no true private counterpart to people who assist federal immigration raids, because no private entity has the legal right to deport people, forcibly separate families, and confine people in cages. These are the kinds of things that occur when federal officials apprehend suspected undocumented immigrants after raids. Nonetheless, I recognize that this part of the case—like others—presents some difficult issues.

The impact of Mendez's ruling against the main part of AB 450 is partly mitigated by his refusal to block implementation of a provision of the same law that requires employers to give employees warning of any planned federal inspection of their immigration records (which may include at least some on-site raids). Judge Mendez argues that the notice requirement is different from the anti-raid policy because "Unlike the prohibitions on consent [to raids], violations of this provision do not turn on the employer's choice to 'deal with' (i.e., consent to) federal law enforcement. An employer is not punished for its choice to work with the Federal Government, but for its failure to communicate with its employees."

Although this decision only addresses the federal government's motion for a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking enforcement of the California laws, it nonetheless prefigures the court's likely final decision on the merits. One of the criteria for securing a preliminary injunction is "likelihood of success on the merits," and Judge Mendez explicitly ruled that the federal government was unlikely to succeed in its claims against SB 54 and AB 103, but was likely to prevail on AB 450.

Today's ruling is just the beginning of what may well be a prolonged legal battle, one that could potentially end up in the Supreme Court. But it it is not a good sign for the administration that a Republican-appointed judge ruled against it on most of the issues at stake. Trump's losing streak in sanctuary jurisdiction cases could well continue.

NEXT: The Declaration of Independence and the Case for a Polity Based on Universal Principles

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So what are the odds this turns out like the “muslim ban” and the lower courts get slapped down eventually by the USSC?

    1. Given the fact that GOP hacks occupy at least four seats – soon to be five – on the SC the chances are pretty good.

      1. I’d put a modest sum on most of this holding up. At first glance it sounds like a real legal judgement rather than a hissy fit. Which is more than can be said for most of the travel ban stuff.

      2. You can do better than “hacks.” Go Full Kirkland.

        1. You never go full Kirkland

    2. I’d give the state a good chance of prevailing on 103, at least until they move the illegals onto military bases. Unless land is bought with the consent of the state legislature, the federal government is just another property owner, with no extra rights. As subject to inspection as anybody else.

      450, where the state presumes to order private entities to not cooperate voluntarily with the federal government, is an absurd over-reach by the state, almost certainly doomed. Not just in ordering non-cooperation, but in compelling acts which actively undermine federal law enforcement.

      54 over-reaches, too, in as much as it prohibits state employees from tipping off the federal government even on their own time. And thus regulates them as private citizens, not just state employees. To that extent it has the same problems as 450.

      I see no significance to the fact that the judge was appointed by a Republican. While Democrats are largely united in opposing enforcement of immigration laws, this issue exposes a divide between Republican voters and a significant faction in the GOP leadership. Party loyalty, assuming it present, would not indicate the expected outcome.

      Trump has had a long string of defeats on this in the lower courts. He’s 1-0 in the Supreme court. I suspect this present fight will reach the Supreme court and make it 2-0.

      1. The biggest issue with 103 comes from the fact that it is not applied to all facilities in CA not just prisons. As well as it is not applied to all prisons in CA not just federal prisons.

      2. 54 over-reaches, too, in as much as it prohibits state employees from tipping off the federal government even on their own time. And thus regulates them as private citizens, not just state employees.

        Well, no. We are still talking about information available to them in their capacity as state employees.

        IRS auditors are prohibited from discussing individual tax returns with anyone not involved in the matter. That prohibition doesn’t go away when they get off work.

        1. Individual tax returns are considered by law to be confidential records. Arrest and prison reports have almost never been excluded as such. But you probably do prefer that non citizens have more rights than citizens.

          1. First of all, it’s just an example of how a government employer can, in fact, restrict employees’ speech about matters they deal with in their jobs even during off-hours.

            Second, the CA law is as much a statute as the law declaring tax returns confidential.

            Finally, these kinds of statutes either do or do not override the First Amendment right of government employees, Jesse. If CA can’t stop its law-enforcement officers from talking about cases then Congress can’t stop IRS employees from talking about individual returns. If Congress can, so can CA.

            But you probably do prefer that non citizens have more rights than citizens.

            What I prefer is that you stop posting stupid, insulting, replies to my comments.

  2. Is there a way to unsubscribe from Ilya’s posts? I have no desire to hear any more about Kelo, political ignorance, or “voting with my feet.”

    1. It’s called not reading the articles. Mebbe try that?

      1. It’s fairly easy to not read his drivel; the problem is whenever I see a post with his name on it I can’t help but feel sorry for him, deranged to the extent that he is.

        1. Weren’t y’all dealing with Kirkland for like five years before Volokh moved here? I figgered y’all’d be inoculated against derangement.

          1. Derangement is sadder in somebody who’s usually sane…

          2. Closer to 10. Same with Bernard and Sarcastro. Their peak was the move to WaPo where the censors could eliminate comments that called out the idiocy of their posts while other wapo readers eventually waded in with such nonsense to make the arguments of the 3 mentioned seem almost intelligent.

            1. WaPo comments are a zoo. They’re animals over there, worse than Breitbart

              1. And getting worse.

        2. I know what you mean. It’s sad when a smart guy becomes so obsessed on a particular topic that reason abandons him whenever he turns to it.

          1. But does anyone know WHY Bull Cow is so obsessed with open borders? Why is that the one issue that he cares about more than any other?

            1. Disaffected, spectrum-inhabiting, right-wing xenophobes moaning about a genuine libertarian are among my favorite faux libertarians.

  3. sounds like the court got it right.

  4. If AB450 purports to ban an employer from picking up the phone to the feds and giving information to them, is there any reason why this wouldn’t be a straightforward 1A violation ?

    1. You’re ignoring the “stop snitchin'” exception to the First Amendment.

      1. AKA the “snitches get stitches” exception!

    2. Because the 1A does not forbid government agencies from regulating the job-related speech of employees.

      1. Someone didn’t read this years 1st Amendment decisions.

      2. AB450 stops private employers, not government employees.

      3. And, during working hours, I think the law is defensible. (Legally, though not as a policy.)

        But to the extent it prohibits employees from cooperating with federal law enforcement while they’re off the clock, yeah, I think it’s problematic.

        1. I disagree with this. It is only defensible during working hours if you believe engaging in business grants government unrestricted control of speech, and/or speech in the business context is behavior, not speech, and therefore contollable.

          But even in the business context, government authority over speech is loosely tied to truth-in-advertising, etc. Cigarette warnings, “xxx is known to the State of California to cause apoplexy”, food or cosmetic ads that deceptively touch up visuals beyond what the product actually does or is, medical stuff based on science, and so on.

          There’s nothing in this law remotely related to a person in a company lying. Rather it is exactly the opposite. Stopping truthful statements of private citizens from talking.

          Keep in mind you are a citizen of the US as well as your state, and a state has no power to stop you, private citizen, from squeaking to federal law enforcement about federal lawbreaking. That is your world, too, private citizen, just as much as being a citizen of a state.

          1. Sorry, I was referring to the law directed towards state employees, not the one targeting the private sector. Which I expect will get a serious Supreme Court beatdown.

      4. Why wouldn’t the 1st Amdt forbid govt agencies from regulating job-related speech of employees. Let’s assume, for a minute, no state constitutional or stupor you issues here, and assume that CA requires that all private employers in the state require all of their employees to pledge allegence every day to Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi. Would that then be legal, and not violative of the 1st Amdt (incorporated via the 14th Amdt)? Why should a state be allowed to mandate indirectly, through mandates to private employers, what it cannot mandate directly?

      5. “Because the 1A does not forbid government agencies from regulating the job-related speech of employees.”

        I think you mean public employees. This law applies to employees of private agencies.

        1. Yeah, there are three laws here.

          One directs state employees not to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. I expect it to be at least partially upheld. It goes too far in regulating their speech off the clock.

          The second mandates inspection of immigration detention facilities. I expect that will be upheld except for military bases.

          The third requires private employers to passively and actively obstruct immigration enforcement. It’s just insane they thought THAT would survive.

          1. Do you really think the modern courts are going to give states full authority over federal property that isn’t a military base or otherwise consented to by the state? Have the states consented to the purchase of land for every federal court house or federal building?

            1. Look, I’m just citing what the Constitution actually says on the topic. The Court may not much care about the actual language of the Constitution, but that could be changing. Especially if Ginsberg croaks soon.

          2. It goes too far in regulating their speech off the clock.

            No. It doesn’t. See my comment above. If a state employee has access to non-public information as part of his job he can be prohibited from sharing it even after hours. Otherwise banning disclosure is meaningless.

    3. “is there any reason why this wouldn’t be a straightforward 1A violation ?”

      I would think so but this case was by the federal government.

      Needs a different plaintiff.

  5. Just seems inconsistent with the rulings that Arizona was not allowed to enforce any of the immigration laws, if the federal government declined to do so, that CA can then actively act to thwart Federal enforcement of immigration laws.

    On the other hand, if this is the way federal laws will interact with state laws in the future, it could be a defacto method of overruling most federal gun control laws, though that would likely require a black or grey market to have any meaningful effect.

    1. The problem with the Arizona case was that the supremacy clause makes federal law supreme, and nothing Arizona was doing violated federal law, only the administration’s policy of not enforcing that law..

      It should have been the state, not the feds, citing the supremacy clause. And maybe the take care clause, too.

      1. Most of SB1070 was actually upheld. The only 2 parts removed were the no going after day laborers outside of Home Depot and local enforcement asking for proof of citizenship. The rest of it was upheld.

        I disagree on both of the above counts since a state has an interest to end unlicensed day laborers when they require such hoops for modern contractors and even handymen in the state. And the state offering to help federal enforcement should never be seen as usurpation of federal powers. It was just silly.

        The most ironic thing of the SB1070 lawsuit was that Holder fought hard to disallow the mandatory e-verify. Yet liberals keep claiming that the correct form of action is to target employers, not illegal immigrants… yet when Arizona offers to do so, the liberals sue.

    2. The principle to immigration cases is “Anything that undermines the left’s goal of turning America into a majority Hispanic sh*thole is bad, and anything that promotes that goal is good.”

  6. Yea. So. All sane people knew 450 was not going to survive. This is literally my prediction from a previous hysterical post on this site by Somin who was confident that all 3 Cali regulations would survive.

    Now, I am somewhat surprised that a California judge agreed with me, but all that shows is that forum shopping is not an infallible strategy.

    1. Or that telling private citizens they are not permitted to speak could be problematic, and even liberal judges won’t go that far.

      1. Plenty of liberal judges go that far. See the compelled speech for pro-life centers that the USSC just had to strike down.

  7. So, Progs discovered the 10th Amendment?

    Newsflash; It says powers NOT DELEGATED to the U.S. by the Constitution are reserved to the States, or the people.

    well, Immigration is delegated

  8. Another great meeting of Libertarians For Authoritarian, Bigoted Immigration Policies (Sovereign Patriot White Male Chapter).

    Nobody called for killing all of the liberals, libertarians, moderates, and RINOs yet, though. You guys going squishy?

    Carry on, clingers. Remember The Pruitt!!!

    1. One nice thing about the Conspiracy when it was in the Post was the “ignore” button, which would allow you to not see the posts of certain persons.

      1. Your preference for a cuddly safe space for right-wing goobery is noted and disdained.

        By your betters.

        1. You think that you are clever, in reality you are nothing more than a broken record. Your REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEs here are noted by all, and laughed at. If you actually believed the two talking points that you cut and paste into every thread, you wouldn’t keep repeating yourself.

          You are only trying to convince yourself of your lies. It’s hilarious. Your tears of unfathomable sadness bring great joy to the rest of the commentators here.

          Donald Trump is still your President and Gen Z is coming for you.

          1. Watching Art’s multiple personalities arguing with each other was amusing the first couple of times. At this point it’s just boring.

      2. A function which I NEVER used BTW.

        If you’re not intently listening to all sides then you are just an ignorant dumbass.

        You might even learn something or, sometimes, find there are areas of agreement.

        1. Does Kirkland ever provide a side? All I’ve gotten from him is smugness, hatred, ad hominems, and rape threats.

          1. Pushed into a corner, great employment rate, SC appointments, etc. could shift one into REEEEEEE mode.

            Bill Marr had a great rant about how the left felt recovering and gaining control, when in fact they’d lost in a shift over a thousand state and local elections, meanwhile felt great because “Meryl really burned Trump at the Oscars!”

            Well, to bring it up to date, another SC pick for Trump, but “that orange Trump baby balloon, what a takedown! Sux to be him!”

        2. Please tell me one time you learned something from Kirkland. Actually, tell me one time you learned anything. You are one of the more acerbic personalities that follow Volokh from site to site. You have never modified your stance as far as I can tell.

          1. I’ve agreed with Brett B. once or twice and even TrueAmericanParrot and I share a couple views (anti religion and universities shouldn’t have their own police).

            I, and hopefully others, learn when someone posts law, court decisions, briefs, etc.

            For example, when someone posted that the Constitution requires that people be US citizens to vote, I had to look that up to confirm they were wrong and then posted that.

            As far as modifying positions, well no one is going to do that.

            You’re rightyish; I’m leftyish and we’ll disagree on whether something is good or bad, right or wrong.

        3. Apedad, I have several times learned things from you, even when we disagree most strongly on an issue. I have never yet learned anything from RALK other than watching him find new ways to embarrass himself.

    2. “Another great meeting of Libertarians For Authoritarian, Bigoted Immigration Policies…”

      Authoritarians to the left of me, Authoritarians to the right…

      Kirkland’s critiques of right-wing authoritarianism would mean a lot more if Kirkland’s faction didn’t literally want the government to regulate when, where, and how people are allowed to ask each other out on dates, and punish people who don’t follow the rules.

      1. Is that the best defense you can muster for so-called libertarians who favor restrictive, cruel, bigoted, and authoritarian immigration policies and practices?

        Carry on, losers.

    3. Well, Arthur, Angela Merkel and her entourage just showed up for the meeting, so we might have to look for a bigger venue.
      You, Soros, and Steyer just meet in a booth at the In-and-Out Burger on Camrose, right?

  9. How could 8 USC 1373 be controversial? It was apparently based on legislation passed in 1996, during the Clinton Administration.

    1. It’s controversial because Bull Cow wants a completely open border and to dismantle ICE.

  10. A post on the Conspiracy with a headline that puts Trump in a negative light.

    OMG! It was by Ilya! I never saw THAT coming.

    1. This is at best ad hominem; at worst it’s completely circular.

      1. Two things are certain here:

        If Trump walked on water, Somin’s headline would be “Trump fails to swim.”

        If there is a negative post concerning Trump, Sarcasto can be counted on for a quick endorsement.

        1. That’s completely counterfactual. Somin is an advocate for things Trump doesn’t like. He does not post anti-Trump stuff for it’s own sake.

          I really don’t care for Trump’s methods nor his goals, so I’m going to be against a great deal of what he proposes.

          One thing he did that I think was really amazing was that Hollywood video about him and Un. How the whole Korea thing turns out very much remains to be seen, but that was sincerely a very clever and well executed diplomatic coup.

          1. “He does not post anti-Trump stuff for it’s own sake.”

            Ilya often will add in a line or two about Trump in unrelated articles where Trump has no bearing. Stop being dishonest.

            1. Once again, Jesse, you seem to have read my comment and not the one I was replying to.

              Possibly gratuitous shots at Trump aside (you may not be the most objective audience…), whatever details you’re quibbling about, they do not prove anything anywhere near:
              If Trump walked on water, Somin’s headline would be “Trump fails to swim.”

              You’ll need more than stories about ‘Illya often…’ before you prove my dishonest.

          2. Forgot to add, if there is a positive post concerning Trump, Sarcasto can be counted on to dispute the facts.

            1. Well, since Trump folks and non-Trump folks often differ over fundamental facts, that is troubling but also not surprising.

              1. Your remarks here indicate your “facts” and Somin’s “facts” are always in harmony. Odds are you nest post will dispute this “fact.”

                1. An interesting charge.

                  From what I’ve observed, when partisan realities are in conflict, the question quickly devolves into only two different narratives. So if you disagree with Trump and his folks’ version, you are probably in good company in supporting the other version.

                  So yeah, I dispute the charge, but despite your intimation of reflexive behavior, I have reasons.

  11. You are beyond pathetic Bull Cow. You are a worthless worm and a globalist hack who pretends to be a “libertarian” when you are a really a deranged and psychotic communist infected with hatred for YOUR PRESIDENT because you want jihadis and your third world communists to pour into the country unchecked.

    You cloak your delusions in the veil of “federalism” but your past actions on that point have completely disqualified you to bring up federalism in any discussion.

    When you jettisoned federalism to champion sodomite perverts and the murder of the unborn, you don’t get to bring it up again in an attempt to destroy immigration policy, which (unlike the other two) is Constitutionally delegated to the Federal Government.

    You are a worthless hack, and you really should quit pretending to be what you are not.

    1. One thing that makes me eager for the eventual civil war in this country will be the opportunity to execute traitors after the fact.

      1. So that ‘guns for self-defense’ thing is pretty much a lie?

        1. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

          1. So that ‘guns for self-defense’ thing is pretty much a lie!

            At least you’re honest.

            1. Self defense includes resisting would be tyrants.

              1. Threads like this should demonstrate to Prof. Volokh and other right-wingers why they aren’t respected at, or hired more often by, good schools.

                Speaking of which . . . isn’t it time for another Volokh Conspiracy whine about the lack of affirmative action for right-wing professors at top-tier schools?

  12. “The federal government has stronger claims here than in its efforts to cut federal grants to sanctuary cities by imposing conditions never authorized by Congress, on which the administration has suffered a long series of well-earned defeats in various federal courts.”

    I am going to take this opportunity to reiterate that Somin is wrong, wrong, wrong on the basics of these cases. He’s bordering on a quack committing academic malpractice.

    1. Swear out a Bar complaint then.

      Sheesh, the drama.

      1. Sarcastro, does Somin pay you by the hour or for each post?

        1. Just the fulfilment of supporting those authority, as all Commies should.

  13. “[I]n preemption analysis, the [Supreme] Court presumes ‘the historic police powers of the States’ are not superseded ‘unless that was the clear and manifest purpose of Congress.’….. [and] Laws governing labor relations and the workplace generally fall within the States’ police powers. Congress has not expressly authorized immigration officers to enter places of labor upon employer consent.”

    Must say I find this analysis disingenuous on two levels.

    The police power concerns regulation of private parties. It is quite a leap that the states can use the police power to bar a private party from communicating with or cooperating with federal authorities.

    As for expressly authorizing entering places of business “upon consent,” that was not expressly authorized because no one ever contemplated that you would need authorization to enter property where the property owner consents to entry. That is the very essence of what property is. If I own a business and want to let ICE, the FBI or the Keystone Kops on the premises, that is my right. The notion that Congress has to authorize that explicitly is bogus.

    1. Congress has authorized federal authorities to enforce the immigration laws. This law (AB 450) plainly was enacted to interfere with such enforcement. It is one thing for a state to say it will not aid the federal government in enforcement. It is another to bar federal enforcement agents from doing their jobs. Voluntary assistance by private parties is a basic tool of law enforcement.

      Suppose this was the reverse — the federal government bars private parties from assisting state enforcement of certain state laws. Would that fly?

      1. Suppose this was the reverse — the federal government bars private parties from assisting state enforcement of certain state laws.

        …Isn’t that what the Supremacy Clause answers in the affirmative? Have a valid federal law with a valid jurisdictional hook, and state laws must give way.

        For these states to be united, I agree there’s a line to be drawn. But those that are insisting that the line for immigration is that the federal government always wins are being facile, and amusingly off brand.

        1. …Isn’t that what the Supremacy Clause answers in the affirmative? Have a valid federal law with a valid jurisdictional hook, and state laws must give way.

Please to post comments