Going forward with SB 4
Maybe the Texas Democrats will finally accept the constitutionality of S.B. 4. On Tuesday, an appeals court made it very clear:
A panel of three U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled Tuesday that most of the state's immigration enforcement legislation, Senate Bill 4, can remain in effect while the case plays out, handing a victory to Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican supporters of the law.
As passed, Senate Bill 4 allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and punishes local government department heads and elected officials who don't cooperate with federal immigration "detainers" – requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation – in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.
The one part of SB 4 that is still on hold is a provision that punishes local officials [for] "adopting, enforcing or endorsing" policies that specifically prohibit or limit enforcement of immigration laws. The judges kept that injunction in place, but said it only applies to the word "endorse." The bill, as passed and signed, would have made elected and appointed officials subject to a fine, jail time and possible removal from office for violating all or parts of the legislation.
The impact will be twofold:
1. In Texas, it makes the issue a sure loser for Democrats. It may actually hurt Lupe Valdes, the sanctuary city Democrat, in a runoff. Her opponent, Andrew White, who is running as a centrist, may use this ruling as further evidence that Miss Valdes is unelectable in Texas.
2. Over in California, A.G. Jeff Sessions may use this ruling to attack sanctuary cities or states.
Overall, a big plus for the rule of law. At the same time, my guess is that many Democrats won't quit. They want to get arrested over this issue.