Supreme Court dismisses sanctuary city cases instead of settling debate

The U.S. Supreme Court just dropped the ball on an important immigration issue. 

The justices did so by deciding to dismiss three cases that dealt with sanctuary cities, according to The Hill

The Issue

Sanctuary cities are those cities that harbor illegal immigrants, shielding them from federal immigration law enforcement.

It is common in such sanctuary cities for their Democratic leadership to order local law enforcement not to cooperate with federal immigration officials. Local law enforcement, as one example, often release illegal immigrants who have been arrested rather than hold them until federal immigration officials could get there to take custody.

The administration of former President Donald Trump took steps in order to try to rectify this situation.

One such step was to withhold millions of dollars worth of federal funding from local governments who contribute to the sanctuary city problem by not cooperating with federal immigration officials.

The lawsuits

In response to Trump’s policy, withholding federal funding from sanctuary cities, several local governments brought lawsuits against the Trump administration. The purpose of the lawsuits was to try to get the courts to rule that such a policy is unlawful.

The lower courts split on the issue. Some decided that Trump’s policy was lawful, while others decided that it wasn’t.

So, the cases, just this past week, made it up to the Supreme Court, which now contains a decisive conservative majority with Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Trump’s three appointees: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The justices, however, decided not to hear the cases. They dismissed them.

According to The Hill, the Supreme Court justices did so because President Joe Biden had asked them to. Biden had rescinded Trump’s sanctuary city policy upon taking the White House.

What now?

Liberals are praising this decision, with Dennis Herrera, one San Francisco attorney involved in one of the cases, telling The Hill“We’re glad this issue has finally been put to rest.”

Of course, the issue has not been put to rest because the Supreme Court chose not to rule on the lawfulness of Trump’s policy. The issue has simply been postponed until we get another president who tries to enforce federal immigration law. Biden has clearly demonstrated that he will not.

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