Some Welcome Information on the "Travel Ban" and Sanctuary Lawsuits

By Dan Cadman on June 21, 2017

Most readers know that the "travel ban" and sanctuary lawsuits were filed by various entities, including a few states, against executive orders (EOs) issued by President Trump to pause entry into the United States from nationals of certain countries; and to cease providing federal grants to "sanctuaries that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Despite the initial rulings of federal district and appellate courts inhibiting implementation of the EOs to one degree or another, rulings sure to drive these matters toward the Supreme Court for resolution, ever more entities have attempted to pile onto the respective scrums by filing additional lawsuits in other federal districts — even though the filings seem contrary to notions of judicial economy and are redundant given prior court actions to stay the EOs.

However, in at least one judicial jurisdiction, the District of Columbia, common sense has prevailed and the district court has agreed to halt further action on recently filed lawsuits pending resolution of the prior suits and stays issued. Hopefully other lower court judges will follow suit so that this matter can be handled where it inevitably must be, at the highest court, without further clogging the dockets of district courts throughout the country simply so that oppositionists can achieve "poundage" in their efforts to block the Trump administration's immigration-related initiatives.

What readers may not know is that several states — 13 of them in fact — have filed amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs supporting the president's position on pausing the flow of refugees or other entrants from the enumerated countries of the "travel ban" EO. While one might have hoped that figure would be higher, it is nonetheless significant, representing slightly more than a quarter of all states.

Several states have also done the same in support of the funding ban against sanctuary jurisdictions, with Texas very recently joining 10 other states in filing an amicus brief asserting that, contrary to the claims of those counties and states that objected to the ban, it serves an important public safety purpose and should not be enjoined.

At a time when a few select states and counties object so vigorously (and repeatedly) to virtually every federal initiative taken to enforce the immigration laws, inhibit terrorism, and protect the public safety, it's good to see that other states are starting to let their voices be heard so that neither the courts nor the public come to believe that by their silence they either endorse the liberal arguments of the contrarians, or are indifferent to the outcomes of these very important cases.