City of Chi. v. Barr, No. 18-2885

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtROVNER, Circuit Judge.
PartiesCITY OF CHICAGO, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. WILLIAM P. BARR, Attorney General of the United States, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date29 April 2020
Docket NumberNo. 18-2885,No. 19-3290

CITY OF CHICAGO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
WILLIAM P. BARR, Attorney General of the United States, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 18-2885
No. 19-3290

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit

NO. 18-2885 ARGUED APRIL 10, 2019
NO. 19-3290 SUBMITTED FEBRUARY 6, 2020
AMENDED JUNE 4, 2020
APRIL 29, 2020


Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Nos. 1:17-cv-05720 & 1:18-cv-06859 — Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge.

NO. 18-2885 ARGUED APRIL 10, 2019, NO. 19-3290 SUBMITTED FEBRUARY 6, 2020

Before BAUER, MANION, AND ROVNER, Circuit Judges.

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ROVNER, Circuit Judge. In this appeal from two consolidated cases, we consider for a second time the legality of conditions imposed by the Attorney General on the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program ("Byrne JAG"). See 34 U.S.C. § 10151 et seq. (formerly 42 U.S.C. § 3750). Previously, the district court granted a preliminary injunction as to two conditions—known as the notice and access conditions—imposed by the Attorney General on the FY 2017 Byrne JAG grant applicants. We upheld the preliminary injunction and its nationwide scope in City of Chicago v. Sessions, 888 F.3d 272 (7th Cir. 2018) ("Chicago I").

The Attorney General then took the rare step of seeking en banc review limited to only the nationwide scope of the injunction, excluding the determination that injunctive relief was proper as to the notice and access conditions, and we granted en banc review. During the pendency of that review, the district court granted a permanent injunction, and in light of that superseding relief we vacated the decision granting en banc review. City of Chicago v. Sessions, No. 17-2991, 2018 WL 4268814, at *2 (7th Cir. Aug. 10, 2018). The district court again determined that the notice and access conditions imposed by the Attorney General were unlawful and unconstitutional, but also determined that a third condition—the compliance condition—was unconstitutional as well. City of Chicago v. Sessions, 321 F. Supp. 3d 855 (N.D. Ill. 2018). The court extended the injunction to apply to all FY 2017 grant recipients program-wide, but in light of our prior grant of en banc review regarding the scope of the injunction, stayed the injunction to the extent that it applied beyond the City of Chicago.

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The Attorney General appealed that determination, and while it was pending in this court, the district court granted a permanent injunction in a second case brought by the City of Chicago, this time challenging the Attorney General's imposition of conditions on the FY 2018 Byrne JAG grant. City of Chicago v. Barr, 405 F. Supp. 3d 748 (N.D. Ill. 2019). Those conditions included the same notice, access, and compliance conditions that the district court enjoined as to the FY 2017 grant, as well as some new conditions. The district court enjoined the imposition of all of the challenged conditions as to the FY 2018 Byrne JAG grant and all future years, and once more stayed the injunction as to grantees other than the City of Chicago. Id. at 770. The Attorney General again appealed to this court, and we consolidated the two cases for the purposes of the appeal.

The stakes in this case are high. Chicago, like many local governments, has determined that: (1) effective law enforcement requires the cooperation of its undocumented residents; (2) such cooperation cannot be accomplished if those residents fear immigration consequences should they communicate with the police; and, therefore, (3) local law enforcement must remain independent from federal immigration enforcement. The Byrne JAG grant was enacted by Congress to support the needs of local law enforcement to help fight crime, yet it now is being used as a hammer to further a completely different policy of the executive branch—presenting a city such as Chicago with the stark choice of forfeiting the funds or undermining its own law enforcement effectiveness by damaging that cooperative relationship with its residents.

The Attorney General repeatedly expresses frustration that Chicago, or any other jurisdiction, can "simultaneously

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accept federal law enforcement grants, yet maintain local policies that frustrate federal immigration enforcement." Appellant's Brief 1-3-20 at 1. It is a sentiment echoed by the only circuit—of the five that have considered it—to uphold the challenged conditions thus far. See State of New York v. Dept. of Justice, 951 F.3d 84, 107 (2d Cir. 2020) ("there is something disquieting in the idea of States and localities seeking federal funds to enforce their own laws while themselves hampering the enforcement of federal laws, or worse, violating those laws.") But states do not forfeit all autonomy over their own police power merely by accepting federal grants. And the Attorney General's perception of the urgency of immigration enforcement does not corral for the executive branch the powers entrusted to the legislative branch. The executive branch has significant powers over immigration matters; the power of the purse is not one of them. This tendency to overlook the formalities of the separation of powers to address the issue-of-the-day has been seen many times by the courts, and it is no more persuasive now than it was in those cases. As the Supreme Court has stated, repeatedly:

Much of the Constitution is concerned with setting forth the form of our government, and the courts have traditionally invalidated measures deviating from that form. The result may appear 'formalistic' in a given case to partisans of the measure at issue, because such measures are typically the product of the era's perceived necessity. But the Constitution protects us from our own best intentions: It divides power among sovereigns and among branches of government precisely so that we may resist the

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temptation to concentrate power in one location as an expedient solution to the crisis of the day.

Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898, 933 (1997), quoting New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 187 (1992).

We conclude again today, as we did when presented with the preliminary injunction, that the Attorney General cannot pursue the policy objectives of the executive branch through the power of the purse or the arm of local law enforcement; that is not within its delegation. It is the prerogative of the legislative branch and the local governments, and the Attorney General's assertion that Congress itself provided that authority in the language of the statutes cannot withstand scrutiny.

I. Facts and District Court Rulings

In Chicago I, we discussed at length the Byrne JAG program and Chicago's Welcoming Ordinance, as well as their respective purposes. See Chicago I, 888 F.3d at 276-82. In short, the Byrne JAG grants are awarded annually to address the needs of state and local law enforcement. They are the primary source of federal criminal justice enforcement funding for state and local governments. This lawsuit stemmed initially from the Attorney General's decision to attach three conditions to those grants—the notice, access and compliance conditions, which as set forth by the district court provide respectively:

(1) A State statute, or a State rule, -regulation, -policy, or -practice, must be in place that is designed to ensure that, when a State (or State-contracted) correctional facility receives from DHS a formal written request

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authorized by the Immigration and Nationality Act that seeks advance notice of the scheduled release date and time for a particular alien in such facility, then such facility will honor such request and—as early as practicable—provide the requested notice to DHS.

(2) A State statute, or a State rule, -regulation, -policy, or -practice, must be in place that is designed to ensure that agents of the United States acting under color of federal law in fact are given [] access [to] any State (or State-contracted) correctional facility for the purpose of permitting such agents to meet with individuals who are (or are believed by such agents to be) aliens and to inquire as to such individuals' right to be or remain in the United States.

(3) The applicant local government must submit the required 'Certification of Compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373' (executed by the chief legal officer of the local government).

City of Chicago v. Sessions, 264 F. Supp. 3d 933, 937-38 (N.D. Ill. 2017). In short:

• the notice condition requires that state or local officials honor requests to provide federal agents advance notice of the scheduled release date and time for aliens in custody;

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• the access condition requires state or local correctional facilities to give federal agents access to aliens in their custody;

• and the compliance condition requires the state or local governments to certify their compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1373 (hereinafter "§ 1373"), which prohibits state and local governments from restricting their own officials from communicating information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of any individual to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.1

All of those conditions were imposed on applicants for the FY 2018 Byrne JAG grant as well, but three new conditions were added. The first was virtually identical to the compliance condition, except that it referenced 8 U.S.C. § 1644 (hereinafter § 1644) rather than 8 U.S.C. § 1373 which contains essentially the same language:

• the § 1644 compliance condition requires certification that the "program or activity" funded under the Byrne JAG award complies with § 1644, which provides "[n]otwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, no State or local government entity may be prohibited, or in any

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way restricted, from sending to or receiving from the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an alien in the United States."

The Attorney General concedes that the two compliance conditions are...

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