City of El Cenizo v. State, CIVIL NO. SA–17–CV–404–OLG

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Western District of Texas
Writing for the CourtORLANDO L. GARCIA, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Citation264 F.Supp.3d 744
Parties CITY OF EL CENIZO, et. al., Plaintiffs v. STATE of Texas, et. al., Defendants
Decision Date30 August 2017
Docket NumberCIVIL NO. SA–17–CV–404–OLG

264 F.Supp.3d 744

CITY OF EL CENIZO, et. al., Plaintiffs
v.
STATE of Texas, et.
al., Defendants

CIVIL NO. SA–17–CV–404–OLG

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division.

Signed August 30, 2017


Andre I. Segura, Omar C. Jadwat, Spencer Amdur, Lee Gelernt, New York, NY, Cody Wofsy, Stephen B. Kang, Cecillia D. Wang, San Francisco, CA, Edgar Saldivar, ACLU of Texas, Houston, TX, Max Renea Hicks, Law Office of Max Renea Hicks, Austin, TX, Luis Roberto Vera, Jr., Law Offices of Luis Roberto Vera & Associates, P.C., San Antonio, TX, for Plaintiffs.

Adam Arthur Biggs, Brantley Starr, William T. Deane, Andrew Drake Leonie, III, David Jonathan Hacker, David Austin Robert Nimocks, Office of the Attorney General, Darren L. McCarty, Office of Texas Attorney General Executive Administration, Austin, TX, for Defendants

ORDER

ORLANDO L. GARCIA, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

Pending before the Court are the El Cenizo Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (docket nos. 24, 26, 154); San Antonio Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (docket nos. 55, 77, 151, 158); El Paso County Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (docket nos. 56, 149); City of Austin's Motion for Preliminary Injunction (docket nos. 57, 97, 103, 146); City of Dallas' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (docket no. 152); Travis County Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Junction (docket nos. 58, 79, 148); City of Houston's Motion for Preliminary Injunction (docket no. 150); and Texas Association of Hispanic County Judges and County Commissioners' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (docket no. 144). Defendants have filed responses in opposition to all motions (docket nos. 91, 172). The United States has filed a Statement of Interest (docket no. 90); Harris County has filed an amicus brief and declaration in support of the motions (docket nos. 116, 166); and amici briefs have also been filed by the Major

264 F.Supp.3d 756

Cities Chiefs Association, Police Executive Research Forum, and United States Conference of Mayors (docket no. 165); The Anti–Defamation League (docket no. 125); the Immigration Reform Law Institute (docket no. 137); and The Episcopal Diocese of Texas, et. al. (docket no. 176). The Court held an evidentiary hearing on June 26, 2017. After considering the parties' arguments and reviewing the evidence and the applicable law, the Court finds that Plaintiffs' motions for preliminary injunction should be GRANTED as follows.

I.

Statement of the case

This case involves the constitutionality of Senate Bill 4, which relates to immigration enforcement by local governmental entities, imposes duties and liabilities on certain persons in the criminal justice system, provides civil penalties, and creates a criminal offense. SB 4 was passed by the 85th Texas legislature and signed into law on May 7, 2017 and becomes effective on September 1, 2017.1 The full text of SB 4 is attached to this order. The City of El Cenizo and LULAC filed this lawsuit on May 8, 2017 and other plaintiffs subsequently joined in the lawsuit by intervention or consolidation.2 Plaintiffs then moved for preliminary injunctive relief to enjoin the implementation and enforcement of SB 4 before it becomes effective.

II.

Jurisdiction, Article III standing, and venue

The Court has jurisdiction over the claims in this lawsuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343 and 1367. The Court has remedial authority under the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 – 02. The Court also has the equitable authority to enjoin enforcement of a state law that conflicts with federal law. Ex parte Young , 209 U.S. 123, 155–156, 28 S.Ct. 441, 52 L.Ed. 714 (1908). Venue is proper in the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division. See docket no. 179.3 The parties invoking federal jurisdiction "must show an injury that is concrete, particularized, and actual or imminent; fairly traceable to the challenged action; and redressable by a favorable ruling." Texas v. United States , 809 F.3d 134, 150 (5th Cir. 2015). "The presence of one party with standing is sufficient to satisfy Article III's case-or-controversy

264 F.Supp.3d 757

requirement." Id. Article III standing is apparent from the face of the pleadings in this case.

III.

Standard and process of review

To obtain a preliminary injunction, movants must establish each of the following four factors:

(1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits;

(2) a substantial threat of irreparable injury if the injunction is not issued;

(3) the threatened injury if the injunction is denied outweighs any harm that will result if the injunction is granted; and

(4) granting an injunction will not disserve the public interest.

Texas v. U.S. , 809 F.3d at 150. "The purpose of a preliminary injunction is merely to preserve the relative positions of the parties until a trial on the merits can be held." Univ. of Texas v. Camenisch , 451 U.S. 390, 395, 101 S.Ct. 1830, 68 L.Ed.2d 175 (1981). Preliminary injunctions that would change, rather than maintain, the status quo are generally disfavored and should not issue unless the facts and law clearly favor the moving party. Martinez v. Mathews , 544 F.2d 1233, 1243 (5th Cir. 1976). Senate Bill 4 has not been implemented or enforced; thus, Movants are seeking to preserve, not alter, the status quo. At the same time, Movants' request for preliminary injunctive relief is timely and not premature. "A fundamental principle of preliminary injunctions [is that] [a]n injunction is of no help if one must wait to suffer injury before the court grants it." Texas v. U.S. , 809 F.3d at 173 n.137 (citing United States v. Emerson , 270 F.3d 203, 262 (5th Cir. 2001) ). This Court need not wait for an "early snapshot" of SB 4 enforcement before considering preliminary injunctive relief. Id.4 Given the limited purpose of a preliminary injunction, and given the haste that is often necessary if the status quo is to be preserved, "a preliminary injunction is customarily granted on the basis of procedures that are less formal and evidence that is less complete than in a trial on the merits." Camenisch , 451 U.S. at 395, 101 S.Ct. 1830.5 Ultimately, the decision to grant preliminary injunctive relief rests in the sound discretion of the district court, and is "often dependent as much on the equities of [the] case as the substance of the legal issues it presents." Trump v. Int'l Refugee Assistance Project , ––– U.S. ––––, 137 S.Ct. 2080, 2087, 198 L.Ed.2d 643 (2017).

IV.

Substantial likelihood of success on the merits

At this early juncture in the case, movants are not tasked with showing that they will succeed on the merits, but they must show that they are likely to prevail on at least one of their claims at the merits

264 F.Supp.3d 758

stage of the proceedings. See Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. , 555 U.S. 7, 20, 129 S.Ct. 365, 172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008). Plaintiffs assert, inter alia , that SB 4, on its face and as applied, is preempted by federal law and violates the Supremacy Clause, the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Ninth Amendment, and the Tenth Amendment. They also assert that SB 4 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Texas Constitution's separation of powers, due course of law, freedom of speech, and home rule provisions. Because SB 4 does not take effect until September 1, 2017, the Court has limited its analysis to those claims that may be construed as facial challenges. There are numerous claims that the Court does not address, either because it is unnecessary to reach them or because they are "as applied" challenges. The Court's findings herein are preliminary, based on the "likelihood of success" standard, and may be revised at the merits stage of the litigation.

Federal Preemption

A. Supremacy Clause

State law that conflicts with federal law is "without effect." Maryland v. Louisiana , 451 U.S. 725, 745–46, 101 S.Ct. 2114, 68 L.Ed.2d 576 (1981) (quoting U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2 ; McCulloch v. Maryland , 17 U.S. 316, 427, 4 Wheat. 316, 4 L.Ed. 579 (1819) ). When reviewing constitutional challenges under the Supremacy Clause, courts must consider two cornerstones: First, courts must "start with the assumption that the historic police powers of the States [are] not to be superseded by ... Federal Act unless that [is] the clear and manifest purpose of Congress." Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp. , 331 U.S. 218, 230, 67 S.Ct. 1146, 91 L.Ed. 1447 (1947). Second, courts must consider " ‘[t]he purpose of Congress [as] the ultimate touchstone’ " of preemption analysis. Malone v. White Motor Corp. , 435 U.S. 497, 504, 98 S.Ct. 1185, 55 L.Ed.2d 443 (1978) (quoting Retail Clerks v. Schermerhorn , 375 U.S. 96, 103, 84 S.Ct. 219, 11 L.Ed.2d 179 (1963) ). Congress's intent may be "explicitly stated in the statute's language or implicitly contained in its structure and purpose." Jones v. Rath Packing Co. , 430 U.S. 519, 525, 97 S.Ct. 1305, 51 L.Ed.2d 604 (1977).

B. Three types of preemption

When Congress has made clear it intends to occupy an entire field of regulation, any state regulation of that field will be expressly preempted....

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    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • November 15, 2017
    ...280 F.Supp.3d 657comply with an unconstitutional law or else face financial injury"); See also City of El Cenizo v. State, 17–cv–404, 264 F.Supp.3d 744, 2017 WL 3763098 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 30, 2017).The City has also demonstrated that the first option would lead to irreparable reputational harm......
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    ...omitting detainer regulation).We find instructive the recent decision in a closely analogous case, City of El Cenizo v. Texas , 264 F.Supp.3d 744, 2017 WL 3763098 (W.D. Tex. 2017) (on motion for preliminary injunction), stayed in part pending appeal , 2017 WL 4250186 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 201......
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    ...face severe economic consequences ... including ... the loss of grant money." City of El Cenizo v. State , No. SA-17-CV-404-OLG, 264 F.Supp.3d 744, 811, 2017 WL 3763098, at *39 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 30, 2017). In County of Santa Clara v. Trump , the court found that the plaintiff established a "c......
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    ...alleged constitutional infringement will often alone constitute irreparable harm") (citations omitted); City of El Cenizo v. Texas , 264 F. Supp. 3d 744, 809 (W.D. Tex. 2017) (noting, in the context of field preemption, that "courts at all levels have recognized that a violation of constitu......
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6 cases
  • City of Chi. v. Sessions, Case No. 17 C 5720
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • September 15, 2017
    ...face severe economic consequences ... including ... the loss of grant money." City of El Cenizo v. State , No. SA-17-CV-404-OLG, 264 F.Supp.3d 744, 811, 2017 WL 3763098, at *39 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 30, 2017). In County of Santa Clara v. Trump , the court found that the plaintiff established......
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    • United States
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    • November 7, 2017
    ...omitting detainer regulation).We find instructive the recent decision in a closely analogous case, City of El Cenizo v. Texas , 264 F.Supp.3d 744, 2017 WL 3763098 (W.D. Tex. 2017) (on motion for preliminary injunction), stayed in part pending appeal , 2017 WL 4250186 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 201......
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