(Los Angeles, CA) – Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), released the following statement today announcing that MALDEF filed a notice of cross-appeal of U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s ruling in the lawsuit against Texas SB 4. The cross-appeal follows Texas’ initial notice of appeal after Judge Garcia enjoined most of the key provisions of SB 4.
MALDEF’s suit, filed on June 1, 2017, challenges Texas’ SB 4 law as a violation of the U.S. Constitution and federal law. In August, Judge Garcia enjoined key provisions of the law and allowed others to take effect. Today’s action notifies the court that plaintiffs will pursue an appeal regarding those provisions that Judge Garcia did not enjoin. Oral argument before a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on the Texas appeal has been scheduled for Nov. 6, 2017.
MALDEF filed the notice on behalf of its clients: the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, City of El Paso, San Antonio City Councilman Rey A. Saldaña, Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, La Union del Pueblo Entero, and Workers Defense Project.
“While Judge Garcia rendered a careful and reasoned decision in preventing much of SB 4 from taking effect as intended on September 1, we still believe that certain provisions that remain in place present a palpable danger of dealing irreparable harm to families in Texas. In particular, permitting every police officer and sheriff’s deputy – from the veteran of decades to the first-day rookie – to question detained persons about immigration status can cause real harm while the constitutional claims against the entirety of SB 4 are resolved in court. Though Judge Garcia made clear that no one need respond to such questioning, the interrogation itself may inappropriately intimidate and alienate peaceful community members.”