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Friday, April 20, 2018

7th Circuit Upholds Nationwide Injunction in Sanctuary City Case

Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the City of Chicago in its lawsuit against the U.S. Attorney General in a case involving the City's sanctuary city status (or in the case of Chicago, "Welcoming City"). City of Chicago v. Jefferson B. Sessions (7th Cir. April 19, 2018).

The lawsuit was filed after the Attorney General tied receipt of federal grant funds to municipal police departments to compliance with certain conditions, including (1) mandating advance notice to federal authorities of the release date of any persons in state or local custody who are believed to be aliens and (2) requiring correctional facilities to provide access to federal agents to meet with those persons. The district court had granted the City's request for an injunction against enforcement of these two conditions, and the Attorney General appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appellate court upheld the ruling in favor of the City, noting that the "power of the purse" rests with Congress, the body that authorized the federal grant funds. In this case, Congress had not imposed any immigration enforcement conditions on the receipt of these grant funds, nor did Congress authorize the Attorney General to impose conditions.  In short, the Seventh Circuit held that the Attorney General did not have the authority to impose conditions on the federal grant funds. The court also upheld the district court's grant of a nationwide injunction, finding it consistent with a recent U.S. Supreme Court case where the Court denied a stay of a nationwide injunction in a challenge to the President's Executive Order suspending entry of foreign nationals from seven countries. 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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