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City files motion to dismiss lawsuit over SB 4, a law that continues to gather opponents

Friday, May 26, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

Last week, Austin City Council voted to pursue legal action against the recently passed “sanctuary cities” law. On Wednesday, the city took another tack, filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton against City Council members, Mayor Steve Alder, Interim City Manager Elaine Hart and Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez over the law. The motion, which is embedded below, asks a federal court to dismiss the lawsuit, noting, “Texas’ suit seeks to fabricate a case or controversy based upon public statements by City officials who believe Senate Bill No. 4 (SB 4) is unconstitutional. The suit fails to establish jurisdiction because Texas has suffered no injury, the law is not in effect, and the State’s complaint seeks an impermissible advisory opinion.” A spokesperson for the city, David Green, explained, “The city has been consistent in expressing our concerns with SB 4. As the state’s lawsuit inappropriately seeks to preemptively punish the city for raising what we believe are legitimate Constitutional issues with the law, we have asked the court to dismiss the suit against the city, mayor, City Council and city manager.” And on Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project joined the lawsuit challenging SB 4 that was filed earlier this month on behalf of a group of local governments and law enforcement officials. Currently, plaintiffs include the city of El Cenizo, Maverick County and the League of United Latin American Citizens. In other SB 4 news, a rally is planned for Monday, May 29, at the Texas State Capitol. According to a press release, the rally will officially launch the “Summer of Resistance” and “is being organized by United We Dream, Workers Defense Project, Immigrants United, University Leadership Initiative, Education Austin, Voto Latino, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Center for Community Change and many more.”

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