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TDR Files Seventh Circuit Amicus Brief in Chicago “Sanctuary City” Litigation

January 4, 2018

On January 4, 2018, TDR partners Brian C. Haussmann, John M. Fitzgerald, and Katherine M. O’Brien filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in City of Chicago v. Sessions, Case No. 17-2991. TDR filed the brief on behalf of the County of Santa Clara, the United States Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the International City/County Management Association, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, and 23 additional cities, counties, and municipal agencies.

The brief supports the City of Chicago and urges the Seventh Circuit to affirm the lower court’s nationwide injunction against the Department of Justice. In the District Court, Judge Leinenweber enjoined DOJ from imposing unauthorized and unconstitutional conditions on the receipt of federal law enforcement formula grants under the Byrne JAG program.  The Court found that DOJ lacked authorization from Congress to impose the enjoined conditions.  The amicus brief argues that the lower court correctly granted a nationwide injunction against two challenged conditions, which aim to disqualify state and local governments from receiving critical law enforcement funds unless they agree to assist the federal government in enforcing federal civil immigration laws.  The brief further emphasises that the unconstitutional and unlawful conditions undermine the ability of local law enforcement agencies to carry out their own considered judgments about how best to keep their communities safe. 

This amicus brief was the first of 12 amicus briefs that argued in support of maintaining the nationwide injunction, and was joined by supporting submissions from, among others, certain members of Congress, 14 states and the District of Columbia, current and former law enforcment leaders, the National Immigrant Justice Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Anti-Defamation League.

The Seventh Circuit will hold argument in City of Chicago v. Sessions on January 19, 2018.

A copy of the brief is available here.

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